Friday, July 9, 2010

The Spiritual Quest

What are we searching for? Purnata - permanent security, fullness, wholeness, peace, happiness, not being affected by the situations, sukha prapti, dukha nivritti (stories …

Let us understand this clearly. When do we want this purnata?

For 1/2 an hour daily, only when I am praying, only when I am with my children, only … No we want peace and happiness 100% of the time, in 100% situations or places, with everybody. We can't seem to settle for less.


Where are we looking? Job, Spouse, Children, Health, Wealth, Possessions, Friends, Relatives, Titles and position (stories … make-up one… this guy as a child studies hard, thought he would be better by getting a job, got a good one, then found in polluted area, so changed job, then felt I will feel better if I get good wife, got married, two years were wonderful … then she wanted him to change, he wanted her to change … they would fight, thought we will be better if we have children, got two good children… busy with them… now they are growing, thought we will be better with our own house … do got a house… made it comfortable… a home, now got children settled … now bored…. He opened a shop… still the feeling did not go. He started doing seva … but he did not get the appreciation he wanted and so he left it. Now Little scared of disease, took to yoga and exercise, still the wanting feeling inside did not go… none of this works he thought… all give satisfaction only for some time…


One day he was feeling very restless, discontented and insecure. He thought to himself, even when I was a young man I felt like this. Now after so many years, I have achieved, so much, I have learned so much, I have done so much … but still this feeling inside me has not changed … I still feel restless, I still feel discontented, I still feel insecure. The feelings goes away for a little while, when I get what I want, but then I am back to square one. Where am I going to find a permanent solution? How will I get permanent happiness? How will this feelings of insecurity go away?"


This man has come to a very important juncture in his life. So he is searching for SECURITY and COMPLETENESS thru different activities of pravritti and nivritti - acquiring and giving up. So the important point here is that behind his activities is the conclusion that 'I AM INSECURE', 'I AM INCOMPLETE'. When will you search for something? Only when you conclude that you don't have it. Because he finds himself incomplete… meaning centered on himself is this sense of incompleteness … so he seeks a solution … he wants to see himself complete and he seeks a solution OUTSIDE … in everything outside himself …. He seeks through power, wealth, family, friends, possessions, relatives, titles and position, adventure and travelling … the list is endless. He is very creative, in creating for himself, situation in which to escape his basic sense of incompleteness and insecurity.


So this man found that ACQUIRING or GIVING UP ACTIVTIES, OBJECTS and SITUATION DOES NOT SOLVE HIS PROBLEM of seeing himself as INSECURE and INCOMPLETE. So he is face to face with the fundamental problem of humanity … the problem of the incomplete self.


Let us pause and understand an important point.


Really speaking what I want is not the different objects and activities … what I want is to find myself SECURE and COMPLETE.


Can we find it there? No matter how much and how long we search for happiness, security, purnata through different activities, objects, situations we will find that they offer only a TEMPORARY SOLUTION.


Why? Because everything that we know, or can know is SUBJECT TO TIME - someday or the other the situation will change. Your house can be destroyed in a natural calamity. Your family can ignore you. Your friends can leave you. Somebody else can occupy your position of power at work. Your spouse can get sick. Or worse still your mood can change. I love gulab jamun. Today I am happy I have got Gulab jamun. I am waiting to put it in mouth … the phone rings and I am informed my best friend just dies in an accident. Will I able able to eat the gulab jamun?


So this is first step … the discovery that no matter what activities I do, no matter how many great relationships I have, no matter how much power and wealth I wield … still the feeling of incompleteness and insecurity cannot go.


Why? Because I cannot hide from my knowledge, that everything is being devoured by the jaws of time.


So what to do? Where should we look? Upanishad says make an inquiry … parikshya lokaan … Gita says make an inquiry … this way has not worked … what is left? Only two categories 'I and This … so far our attention directed to 'this' … this has not worked… so one has only one thing to turn to and that is "I".


A Story The Happiest Man (Sadhana Mantra)


Once Upon a time, an emperor was going out in the evening. At the same time an old man was also going out. It was getting dark. The emperor was not able to see the old man, nor was the old man able to see the emperor.


Upon knocking into the old man, the emperor asked in anger, "Who is it?'


The old man said, "An emperor".


The emperor got upset. Because he was the only emperor, so how did this other emperor land up here. So he turned back and questioned, "You are emperor of which state? Who do you reign over?


The old man replied, 'Over myself'.


The emperor was wonder-struck!


Is it not true? The one who rules over himself, one who is his own emperor, one who has come to know himself - there is no emperor like him, there is nobody else who is as content as him. The one who has discovered his happiness in his God, the one who has drowned himself in the love of God, whose desires have all died, who has understood that nobody is going to stay here forever - everybody has to go and so why get attached to one's possessions … that person is the happiest person.


The unhappiest person is the one who looks at others and does not get happy, one who is not able to digest the praise of somebody else, the who stabs another behind the back, the one who betrays the other's trust, the one who praises in front and criticizes behind the back, the one who burns in the fire of jealousy … such a person can never be happy.


So the Gita also says the same thing … you have to turn to yourself.




Two type of problems: one in which solution lies outside the problem. The other is the problem for which solution is within the problem.


The problems of food, clothing, shelter are problems whose solution lies outside. If you are hungry, you have to get food and satisfy your hunger. If you need shelter, you have to find a place outside. If you are thirsty, you have to get water. In these kind of problems you have to seek a solution in the external through planning and effort.


Supposing somebody gives you four pieces of jigsaw puzzle - and you have to form the letter S. You try really hard. You are not able to get it. Then you think maybe one piece is missing. But you told none is missing. There is no need of a 5th or 6th piece. So this the kind of problem where solution is within the problem itself. This kind of problem requires a person who knows the solution - who has it in his head. So it is this kind of a problem that Gita solves.


Gita does not solve topical problems. It solves the fundamental problem of human apurnata.