Liberation is not easy.
There is a vast consciousness that alone is present. Somehow from that consciousness that is full in itself, completely content and has no wish or desire emerges an energy called Hiranyagarbha or the Golden Egg. This egg contains the universe in a potential form.
All of creation emerges from this Golden Egg, results in a grand play, and again enters the Egg to spring again, leading to an endless cycle. Life also follows the same cycle of birth and death, birth and death...
The cycle of the Grand Age (one complete cycle) is similar. When one cycle exhausts itself (a timespan that is difficult to comprehend) the same pattern emerges again.
There is a very interesting story to illustrate this. In the Ramayana we find Hanuman asking some crucial questions to Rama. In reply Rama takes off his ring and drops it into a nearby hole. He requests Hanuman to retrieve it for him. The obedient Hanuman immediately jumps into that hole. After travelling for a long time he lands on the ground. When he looks around him he is amazed. Wherever he looks there are rings. Countless rings. And they are exactly the same!
Hanuman gets his answer. Rama comes in every age. In each such occurrence he drops his ring for Hanuman to jump into the hole and get his answer.
This whirlpool of existence is fascinating. It gives joy. It also gives pain. The joy is short-lived, the pain excruciating. After undergoing a lot of suffering the individual realizes the empty nature of existence and seeks release. The desire for liberation arises in his heart.
The world is an illusion and the illusory force is called Maya. She is the feminine that is always engaged in the world and keeps others engaged too. She is a tremendous force. The corresponding anti force is the calm witness that is the male element called Shiva. The world is a play of these two forces.
Shiva is the friend of the person seeking liberation, Maya is the enemy. One has to fall at the feet of both. While Shiva attracts the person seeking liberation, Maya repulses the effort. The force of attraction and repulsion are equal and it is beyond self effort to go beyond this.
The mind is Maya. The heart is Shiva. The effort thus fleets between these two areas. Concentrating on the heart and merging in it can be possible only with the help of a self realized Guru. Very few are those who are fortunate to develop dispassion, practice meditation, seek the Self, and find release.
Where can we get such a Guru? One has to aspire and when we are ready, having freed ourselves from desires and the sense of doership, the Guru will appear. The Guru is within us. At the required moment he appears in form to aid the disciple in achieving liberation. The Guru is nothing but the Supreme Consciousness.
Liberation is not easy. But for the one who is sincerely seeking liberation, no effort is too great.
I will end with an incident involving Swami Bhuteshananda, the 12th President of the Ramakrishna Order. He received the news that a leopard has been caught and brought to the local Zoo. He said that the animal must be extremely desperate to escape. He instantly wanted to visit the Zoo. The Zoo authorities were happy to grant him that wish. Swami Bhuteshanandaji stared intently at the animal furiously pacing in the cage seeking the point of escape.
Look at this animal, he said, observe the intense desire to escape. Nothing else is important to him. When a person develops the same ferocious desire to escape the wheel of birth and death, then liberation comes running to him. It reflected the intensity of the desire within the Swami.
In the play of the world the soul seeking liberation is the odd man out. But that play is the jewel of creation.