For most of us spirituality is such a loaded term, there is so much fear of the unknown here that most of us, despite being worthy recipients, rarely venture to it! A good many of us consider ourselves to be inadequate or unworthy when it comes to spiritual discipline. Know this bit in your heart then, as the Upanishads say- that your true nature is divine since you are a part of the Supreme consciousness that you call God.
Yes, you are divine. The tragedy is that that we do not realize it during our span on the planet. God planned bliss for us and we are stuck in the rut.
Why are we not happy? Why are we not positive about life? Part of the problem is that we do not see things as they are. Happiness is associated with children more than anybody else because of two things: they don’t burden themselves with preconceived notions and are happy and involved in their present. As we grow more ‘intelligent’ we become less and less happy or positive! The basic aspect of intellect is the ability to cut through things. Mind works around perception. The moment we identify with something-an idea, a notion, a thinking pattern, perception is gone. We cease to be rational.
Don’t you recall some quirks of your family members? Some elder who insisted on sitting on a particular chair while watching T.V. or ‘had to’ eat out of a particular plate! Even celebs are prone to this. It was reported that Amitabh Bachchan began to insist Rani Mukherji to sit on his left during movie premieres as doing so once accidentally had led to the film being a hit !
Actor Sanjay Dutt used to wear the same sky-blue shirt to all his court hearings as he felt it swung the decision in his favour. It is another matter that he was arrested in the same shirt!
Identification has had his victims too. Actor Amjad Khan best remembered for his role in the 1975 cult classic Sholay was always compared to his first role and told that the other characters he played didn’t match up to his portrayal of Gabbar. Khan reasoned ‘’that was because the other scripts did not match up to Sholay’s brilliance!” That’s the right perception!
We make sweeping generalizations on the basis of identification. If a member of a particular community had cheated you does it mean that all the members of that community are cheats? We say no but believe otherwise, most of the time.
A king was once told that there lived in his kingdom a man so unlucky that anyone who had a look at him in the morning would not get a chance to break bread that day. On the king’s insistence, the man was brought to his court and as chance would have it, the king did not get to eat a single meal that day. Convinced that the man was a bad omen the king ordered him to be beheaded.”Because you were unlucky for me’’
‘’Your Majesty, seeing my face denied you food for a day, but looking at yours is about to cost me my life!”
The king realized his folly, the sentence was stalled. The eyes of others are our prisons, their thoughts our cages.
Another popular tale comes to mind. Emperor Akbar who ascended to the throne at fourteen had lost his mother at birth. As an infant he was raised by a loving dai who was a nursing mother and also fed Akbar. Her son, a little older than Akbar was treated by him as his elder brother. After a few years the dai retired to her native village with her son. Akbar meanwhile got busy with consolidating the empire and during the course of time achieved iconic status among his subjects. His fame spread far and wide. And one day the emperor got the news that his ’brother ‘had come to visit him. A state welcome to the fellow ensued. There was much bonhomie with the witty Birbal ensuring that everybody had a good time. After a week of revelry when the foster brother was about to leave, Akbar laid open his treasury to him, ‘’and whatever else you want.’’
The brother asked for Birbal. Akbar was stumped! “As far as I can reason brother, Birbal is the reason why you have risen so high. So please let me take home Birbal.”
With a heavy heart Akbar instructed Birbal to go with his brother. “He is my elder brother, we’ve had milk of the same mother, I cannot disobey him.”
Birbal’s wits were again at test.”Jahanpanah! I’m good but ‘my’ elder brother is even better. Can he go with your brother?” the village simpleton was happy, he was getting the best deal. Birbal was told to turn up with his brother. The next day, the royal court watched with amazement as Birbal entered with a bull in tow. He bowed and pointing to the bull said, “He is my elder brother sire, ready to go with yours.”
“Birbal, this is no time for jest. What do you meaning by saying that this bull is your elder brother?” asked Akbar. “I am serious Sir. This bull is my elder brother. After all we’ve had milk of the same mother!!!,” said Birbal. And thus the unreasonable demand of the elder brother was revoked.
Dis-identify yourself from everything. Don’t clutter your perception. If you keep your intellect unencumbered, new vistas open up. Spirituality enhances perception. It enables not disables. You have to come in touch with the creator’s creation. Whatever ideas you have or have had, life will humble you. Life is too grand for any pre-conceived ideas to hold water.
As the Ashtavakra Samhita (verse15:2) says –
‘’You are the eternal witness and the indifferent onlooker, move about Happily!”