Arvind got up clumsily from his bed and came near me. He simply held my hand and said, “Its good news! If you have insight that something is wrong, only then we can correct it. To know that there is an error, there is a fault is the first step toward correcting it. Until and unless, we have not faced discontentment, we would not look for the ways of contentment. At least you have insight that material pleasures haven’t been really successful in giving you everlasting pleasure. You wouldn’t have asked these questions, you won’t have begin your search if you were satisfied with your achievements, possessions and accolades.”
I listened to him with rapt attention wiping my tears. He went back to his bed. “Actually I am confused, sometimes I think that I would be happy if I get more of name, fame, money, love. I mean whatever best I can have.” It was like I had to confess everything in order to unburden myself. I was feeling little selfish in asking him so many questions in my first such meeting but I felt helpless. I was like water that had to flow in order to be like a river and not to be stagnant like a pond. “I understand your dilemma. In material world, discontent will drive you towards acquiring more so as to satisfy your thirst though this thirst can never be quenched.
But this knowledge, this understanding that desire cannot be fulfilled that this thirst can never be quenched would never be realised until and unless you go through it. And when you go through this experience deeply, answers will come of its own. You are already half way through that realization and that’s why you are anxious and seeking answers. You are fortunate that you are vaguely sensing the reality, reality that nothing, no amount of worldly pleasure can make us happy. But you still might need to travel the whole journey to get the final answer. When fire of knowledge will burn your doubts and dilemmas, you will be free.” He spoke unequivocally.
“But why we don’t understand? Why this race to nowhere? Why we keep forgetting?” I asked passionately. “This brings me to your original question about our identification with our thoughts and the result it produces. We have a ‘real self’ that is our soul and we have an ‘imaginary self’ created by our identification with our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Our being....our soul is always free.. unbound while our mind is always bound. If we identify with our thoughts, by default we suffer because any attachment, positive or negative is the cause of the suffering. Mind not only attaches to positives, it has tendency to attach to negatives also.
Although we may not realize but we do have a special kind of attachment with our pain, our hurt, our misery also and that’s why we don’t easily let it go. We hold on to our pain, our grudges, and crystallize our ego. If we live through our thoughts, we lose integrity as mind is always in conflict, split within. When we are in sync with our being, we are integrated, we are peaceful, and we are joyous. The world of thoughts, emotions and feelings are forms while our soul, our being is formless. We have to be in tune with the formless to observe and understand the forms. Renunciation is nothing but the de-conditioning from our conditioned pattern of mind, to be free from our thought processes, to be free from world of forms. This de-conditioning is Meditation or Yoga. Renunciation doesn’t mean to run away from life, from world of forms, from pleasure and pain but to transcend them. It is embracing all the positives and negatives of the life, remains unaffected by them. ”
He paused for a moment, looked and said, “ You are a student of science. Isn’t it in science, we do experiments to prove any hypothesis, to reach to any conclusion?” “Yes indeed.”I replied, puzzled at the change of track of our discussion. “But what is that got to do with our understanding of self?’ “Our life is big laboratory and our body and mind are the instruments to carry out the experiments. We can use our body and mind to understand our soul....they are the tools for self realization. Use every situation in life to increase your understanding of soul. Any situation, good or bad can be used to learn the mysteries of soul. Body and mind should not be condemned; they should be revered for they are the bridge to reach the soul. And that will be your experimentation with truth.”
“Thank you Arvind, I will try to observe every situation and will use it as an experimental set up to learn about the soul, to get the ever elusive joy and peace.” I replied with deep conviction that from this day onwards, my experiments with truth will start. I suddenly realized that we have been talking for almost about three hours. Arvind looked tired. I apologized for my oversight. It was first time in my life that I I felt a strange sense of peace enveloping me. I couldn’t define its origin but I was certain that I had found my master ... my patient who is going to be my healer. Only person who could qualify as my master was Arvind, Arvind who made his cross, a weapon for his liberation rather than being weighed down by it. I was ecstatic that my search for my master had ended.
~ To be continued