Monday, December 29, 2014

You Are Unique - Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati


There are people in the world that would say that there is no solution to the human problem. The human problem is the problem of self-disapproval. There is always an attempt to prove myself to be someone different. And I therefore seek approval from my own people in the family, community and humanity, even perhaps from gods. I seek approval from them all. That is because there is no self-approval.

In this, pursuit of seeking solution, one can say there is no solution. In this world, I am a very small and insignificant person.  Even the wayside rock has millions of years of stories to tell me.  The hundred years I live are just a flicker in the perennial flow of time.  In terms of pervasiveness also, I am insignificant on this earth.  On the scale of the whole universe, I am not even a dot.

With reference to knowledge, the extent of my knowledge on any subject is minuscule.  In strength, I am ordinary even among human beings.  I started my life as a small helpless person—I needed help even just to turn.  Even though I did not know what parents meant, I delivered myself to these people to compensate for my helplessness.  There was trust in them as mighty giants.  They appeared almighty and infallible.  I did not know at the time that I was going to grow up to be like them. Therefore, self-judgement was inevitable, that I was small and insignificant. When I grew older, I discovered that the parents were fallible, and I was still helpless.  Being helpless and without an infallible support is a core problem.   

The Existentialist tells me that there is no solution to the human problem. I am helpless and no one can help me.  I am subject to sorrow and I have to just try and make the best of it.  The most selfish is the happiest.  Another one comes along and says he has a solution to the problem even though I am a sinner. He promises me heaven where I can relax.  I cannot verify this promise here.  Perhaps because it is non-verifiable, I can believe it.  I can trust what is at least not subject to negation.  That is why people believe in heaven.  They commit themselves to the belief that there is no solution here for the human problem but there is one in heaven.  Going to heaven is not a solution, says another. Like you there will be many others in heaven, and you will have to deal with them.  The standard of living may be better there, but still you will be you, and you will have a lot of issues to tackle there.

“You surrender your body, mind, wealth, and everything else to me and I will save you.” “Don’t give up your self. Keep walking and reach the goal.” Slogans like this ring loud and strong for those who want to pay any attention.

Now you can understand uniqueness. The one who says you are unique does not promise anything. He does not require to promise or instruct, nor control or manipulate.  All that he says is why don't you see this truth about yourself.  The truth about yourself is that you are free.  That is all the truth about everything and you are the truth about everything.  You are the center and everything else is unlike you.

This is revealed even by simple inquiry into the language.  In language, there are pronouns: first, second and third persons, singular and plural.  As you can see, the third person pronoun can refer to any person or thing.  The second person pronoun ‘you’ also refers to different persons at different times.  But by the word ‘I’ you refer always to only one person—you.  ‘I’ is singular in number and nature.

The relationship between the ‘I’ and ‘not-I’ is the relationship you talk about.  It is the relationship that bothers.  It means that the one and only ‘I’ is bothered by the countless ‘not-I.’  You cannot begin solving the problems of life without understanding the very source of the problems, which is you.  These are the problems of an approval-seeking, disgruntled, dissatisfied ‘you.’  To solve the problem of life, you need to question whether you are the person that you think you are.  If you are, there is really no solution to the problem.  If you are not, you have no problem.  Vedanta says you have no problem.

It is not a promise that you will be free.  To say or promise that you will be free is to assume that you are bound now. Vedanta says you are free. That is a challenge.

                                                                                                Anaikatti, India
                                                                                                January 1995


 Talks and Essays of Swami Dayananda Volume 1

Self-Growth and Self - Pujya Swami Dayananda


Once upon a time when I took up the responsibility of teaching a group of people over a period of time with a syllabus in my mind to teach the self-growth and self-knowledge, I thought I could teach any person and make that person succeed in the pursuit. That was once upon a time.

Later I found that it is not easy. I had confidence in myself in terms of communication and I have the strength of the entire tradition of teaching behind me. The road is already very well laid out and what I have to do is the same as my predecessors have been doing.

With a backing of such a great tradition of teachers, my job, I thought, was easy since what people have to discover is only something about themselves. It did not take me long to realize that nobody can change another person.

Perhaps, you can program an animal. Within the framework of the animal’s limitations, you can make an animal change in terms of its behavior. But definitely you cannot program another person to your satisfaction; nor is it proper to try to do so.

As a parent you look upon your child as a part of you, and you think you can mold him any way you like. But as the child grows, you begin to realize that he has a mind of his own, his own ego, his individuality that may cooperate with or resist your efforts to change him. The child is born of you, but not a part of you; it is not entirely under your control. It is like a candle used for lighting another candle. If the candle has candlepower, the other has its own candlepower. One is not a part of the other.

A baby comes into the world absolutely helpless. But as a living organism it enjoys the capacity to survive. It has to simply trust to survive. Total helplessness is compensated by total trust. Otherwise, there will be a lacuna in the creation. In time, when the child can stand on its own, it wants to be independent. At the end of the second or third year, the child develops an absolute ego, for the child does not recognize any other ego in the world. It is like the Lord’s (½Ăšvara’s) ego that is without a second!

In the third or fourth year the child discovers that there is an ego in the mother. There is a solid ego in the father, and there is an ego in everybody else. And it seems they are all trying to control his ego.  This is not a pleasant discovery for the child. He wants to be independent. This love and struggle for independence continues all through life. We find in the world that everybody is trying or wanting to change others to their liking, and at the same time resisting the attempts to be changed by others.

One who wants to change the world to fulfill his own needs and desires is an egoist. If all that is needed is a change, change yourself. That has to be initiated by you alone, because the love for change is in you. Nobody can stop you from changing. What you need in life is to know why you want to change the world. Look within yourself and enquire whether you have retained that absolute trust you had as a helpless child, and if not, whether you can reclaim that trust that can make you relax in yourself. That is growth. That is discovery.

                                                                                                Anaikatti, India

                                                                                                1994