Friday, November 2, 2012

the idea of enlightenment

Sadhguru, thank you. Mystic's Musings will probably be the book I'll look back to years from now and say emphatically that it changed my life. And I'm not done even halfway through. The kind of questions that it manages to rise are phenomenal. And answers to those questions in Sadhguru's wry, understated humour. The anecdotes he comes up with to answer a few questions are truly strokes of genius. Or maybe, those of the enlightened. When somebody asked Sadhguru, "What is the reason behind the creation of the universe?", he replied, "One day, God was bored and was playing marbles. A few marbles flew here and a few there, one became Earth, another became Sun.. Do you want me to continue? (laughs) Just because I've told you such a simple story, you think I'm joking. If I tell you a much more sophisticated story, you will believe me. Maybe, it'll be the truth. But what use will it be to you? It might satiate your curiosity, bring you solace for a while but that is not why I'm here. Your duty should be to find out why you are here. Why do you care why the universe was created?"

The utter simplicity of the last statement totally blew me away. True, without bothering to know myself completely, to comprehend and control myself completely, how will knowing answer to such a question will help me. It'll probably entertain me, but not enlighten me. Having done his Shambhavi Mahamudra four years ago, albeit just for a couple of weeks, I understand him a little more than a layman when he talks about various energy levels, more being there to life than the simple physical and emotional manifestations that we thing we are capable of and the core belief in what he's saying. I trust him. The way he describes love is fascinating. Love, or for that matter, anything in life should be liberating. When he talks Bhakthi Yoga, he talks boundless love. Loving the person so much so that you don't exist anymore. In one of his answers, he says that there are two ways to reach Shiva. One is becoming a zero infront of him, surrendering to him completely. Other, being the all encompassing one, being infinity, acquiring the ability to include everything in the universe within oneself. And then meet Shiva in equal terms. Nobody explained Moksha to me better.

More than the convincing manner which his answers inevitable take, more than his foolproof logic, what inspires me is the confidence he has in his methods. Describing his method as scientific appeals to the rational mind because a lot of people are not ready to take the leap if a Guru tells them, give your everything to God, and then you can reach him. According to him, it works, but none of us would be ready to go to phenomenal lengths, take extraordinary leaps just because of our faith in a master. We have not been conditioned like that. And so, we need to be convinced, cajoled, see results, pushed, probed and inspired. Sadhguru does all those things. When it comes to matters of faith, Sadhguru points to the example of Sadhus wandering naked in the freezing cold of the Himalayas. When Sadhguru once asked a group of Naked Sadhus what they were doing, freezing to death, they replied, "When we went to our Guru for answers, he told us to wander like this in the Himalayas for twelve years and then go back to him. Only then will he set us on our path to liberation." Sadhguru says that that is the intensity required by a man to attain spirituality. The intensity of their one question, "Why am I here?" is so strong that they are willing to forgo a life of comfort, security and stability to know the answer. The amount of intelligence, maturity and strength it takes to trust a man who promised to give them an answer years later is so huge that they don't need a Guru to be enlightened. Burning with such fervour, they'd find the answers themselves anyway.

His answers to the most complex of questions dealing with issues of family, ego, relationships etc. are so simple, so profound and sometimes a little too cruel, that we see how frivolous all the structures we have built around ourselves are anyway. The make-believe toy houses that we have created are turning so big that we are taking them a little too seriously. But the most enlightening thing I've encountered in the book so far is what I would call the Law of Opposites. Sadhguru says that until we've not the seen the worst, we won't know what the best is. Only a really hungry man can understand what it means to eat contentedly. Only a man deprived of sleep can truly nourish the experience of good sleep. And only a man who's dug deep enough within himself can find light at the end of the tunnel.

The idea of enlightenment seems so alluring, so simple, so graspable and yet so daunting. I sometimes think that if I got enlightened and stuff, wouldn't I miss out on everything in life. Skydiving, partying, Bungee-Jumping. And I just found the answer to that question. When somebody asked a similar question, Sadhguru replied, "Will you miss eating cockroach pickle? No? But somebody who's gotten used to it will miss it, right? You think you will miss all those things because you've cast them as priorities in your life. Shun everything away and make spirituality your only priority. See, where it'll take you." Loved it. I'm actually surprised that I didn't find him this enchanting four years ago. Maybe they're right after all; When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Or like Sadhguru puts it, Make the longing intense enough and you'll find your Guru.

1 comment:

  1. Those are truly wonderful observations. I hope this sanity period is serving its purpose to the fullest.

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