Advaita - The Path of One
Advaita - The Path of One
The truth is beyond the senses. Beyond speech and thought. Thus all that we think, see, speak, hear, feel, smell, and touch is an illusion. Isn't that something to seriously ponder about? How can we realize that truth? The sages say;
- By ceasing to think
- By noticing and staying in the pause between thoughts
- By knowing that the world exists because you think about it. The world disappears in sleep
- By concentrating on the present
- By negating all; not this, not this...
- By constantly remembering;
- The world is an illusion
- I am the absolute consciousness
- There exists nothing but that
By doing any of these sincerely suddenly realization will dawn. What happens after that?
Suppose you see a dog sculptured in a stone. You are afraid of the dog. Then someone shows you it is just a sculpture in stone. You then see the stone and relax. You forget the dog.
This is what realization is like. The world is an illusion floating in the absolute consciousness. We are focussed on objects. When we realize that it is an illusion we only see the consciousness and forget the world. It no longer scares us.
It is merely a shift in perception. A rope is mistaken for a snake. Once it is realized that it is a rope the snake vanishes and so does the fear. A shadow is feared to be a ghost. When the shadow is perceived the ghost vanishes.
We see golden ornaments and delight in the various forms. The goldsmith sees only the gold.
You are that consciousness. The world is that consciousness. Only that consciousness exists. There is no two.
This is Advaita Vedanta.
Scared about what will happen if you adopt this stance?
Rest assured. Those who adopt this path are taken care of. The Lord himself carries the burden of those who look for him.
Fear exists because of the play of ego. The ego is a non existent monster. It comes out of nowhere and seemingly separates you from your real all pervading state. It makes you see duality. The ego dominates and fears the loss of domination. When you start inquiring "Who am I?" the ego realizes its time is up. It fears the loss of itself. The practitioner feels that fear but plods on nevertheless knowing its transient nature.
When Swami Vivekananda wanted a taste of self realization, Sri Ramakrishna gave him a glimpse with his touch. Swami Vivekananda perceived the whole world disappearing into a whirlpool. "Why are you doing this to me?" he cried out in great fear. It was not him but his ego that feared the loss of existence.
You are looked after
Devotees who earnestly seek the reality behind the illusion are looked after. Sri Krishna says in the Gita, I look after the needs of the devotee who follows the path of Yoga.
A person who was translating the text was puzzled. How could the Lord claim it is he himself who looks after the devotee? So with his quilt he struck the word off and modified it to, I arrange for the upkeep of the devotee. So not Krishna but someone else is assigned the job.
This person, a scholar, was a sincere devotee but he was very poor. On the day he struck off the declaration he had to go out in search of provisions. He tried the whole day but returned empty handed. He felt dejected but when he reached home he was surprised to see that his wife was cooking and all provisions seemed to be in his house. Surprised he asked his wife what had happened.
His wife said a very sweet looking handsome kid with a black complexion had come with a hamper full of provisions. She welcomed him and gave him water to drink. But she noticed he was bleeding from a scratch. She asked him how he had hurt himself. He said your husband did this to me!
The scholar immediately understood what had happened. The Lord had himself come to his aid. His words were his own body and therefore when he scratched the wound had appeared on the body of Krishna himself! He repented and rectified his error.
India is full of such stories. Devotees have neglected their work being devoured by devotion and the Lord himself has emerged to relieve the burden of the devotee and complete the work.
Once when Sri Ramakrishna was interacting with devotees in his room he noticed one of them was meditating but the rays of the Sun was falling on his body. He himself took his umbrella and placed it besides the meditating devotee to provide him shade.
The promise of providing for earnest devotees and seekers is real.