“Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit.” Swami Vivekananda.
We all consider ourselves as religious by visiting temples, doing all kinds of rituals under the pretext of religion, worshipping the non-Gods considering them as Gods, making pilgrimages all around the world, going on so-called religious tours on select days, visiting temples and worshipping with worldly expectations, worshipping false gurus, and many many such things. All our religious practices are thoughtless and most of the time loaded with worldly expectations.
But alas, nothing of these qualifies as true religious acts if these acts and pilgrimages do not help us achieve what is stated by Swami Vivekananda.
Narsinh Mehta a renowned Gujarati poet (who had written the famous Bhajan – Vaishnav Jan to… favourite one of Gandhiji) had in one of his Bhajans stated,” Without knowing the spirit (Soul) all religious activities and rituals are worthless.”
Jainism defines knowing the spirit (Soul) as spirit (Soul) as Samyak Darshan. According to Jain scripture, all religious activities towards the liberation of a soul starts when one realises spirit as spirit. Without the self-realisation, all so-called religious activities can be anything but won’t help in the liberation of the soul.
Believing the self as Soul and not the body is the basic truth, but unfortunately, we do not realise that till our human life ends. What can be more disgusting than not knowing the real self as Spirit/Soul/Atma?
To quote Swamiji again, “Have you realised that you are spirit? When you say, ‘I do,’ what is meant by that— this lump of flesh, called the body or the spirit, the infinite, ever blessed, effulgent, immortal? You may be the greatest philosopher, but as long as you have the idea that you are the body, you are no better than the little worm crawling under your foot! No excuse for you! So much the worse for you that you know all the philosophies and at the same time think you are the body.”
According to Jain scriptures, believing the self as a body and not the Spirit i.e. the soul is the Mithyatva of the highest level. Mithyatva is the cause of the continuation of cycles of life and death of a soul. Mithyatva is defined as false beliefs. The Jain scholar Hemchandracharya defined Mithyatva as “belief in false divinities, false gurus, and false scriptures.”
This is not about Jainism and the concept of Jainism. Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit and the other quote of Swamiji above are quotes of Swamiji taken from his article on Bhagavad Gita.
However, how many of us whether Jains or Hindu believer of Bhagavad Gita knows this fundamental about the religion?
We all are obsessed with rituals and pilgrimage ignorant of what is expected out of it to make it worth. What is the end result we have to achieve to make our so-called religious efforts actually religious? No clue.
As rightly stated by Swamiji, there are no difference between us human being and the little worm crawling under our feet if we think the self as a body because at the level of Mithyatva we both share the same belief about ourselves.
This is the reality of so-called religious people as I am ignoring people who don’t think about religion or about the true self. They just waste their human lives running after sensual pleasures, and without giving a thought about the self.
We are action oriented people so we indulge in all kinds of actions even as our religious practices but we don’t realise for pursuing the real religion, the right realisation must precede right actions. We never realise the basic truth and therefore even our actions are not right.
We humans have become highly knowledgeable with the advancement of science. We know about the atom theory, we know about byte and we now also know about a gene but isn’t not knowing the self is the highest ignorance we suffer from?
“He was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all.”
― Richard Bach,
You are now many years into the present life and fairly experienced about the nuances of life. None of your other experience is more than your experience about the life.
You now know about the words like fate, destiny, luck etc. What I mean by knowing these words is not the literal meaning, but relevance and applicability of these words in our different walks of our life.
How many of your wishes got fulfilled and how many are not?
If you apply the ratio I am sure unfulfilled wishes far outwit the fulfilled wishes. I am also sure you have made an equal effort or sometimes, even more efforts on fulfilling your unfulfilled wishes & yet you couldn’t succeed.
Here we use the words like fate, destiny or luck (bad luck).
But the reality is everything is about fate, destiny, and luck. Your fulfilled wishes and your unfulfilled wishes, both.
“Destiny waits alike for the free man as well as for him enslaved by another’s might.” Aeschylus – Greek Philosopher – 525 BC.
The above quote is not only interesting one, but also revealing very important life lesson.
If everything is destined, why not live our dreams and why remain enslaved of your employer or your insecurity?
Do what you want to do without fear or worry. The result is anyway is not in your hand in either case, if you worry and remained enslaved of your unwanted circumstances and self-imposed slavery or do not worry and live your passion.
Whether you do your 9 to 9 job or live your passion, destiny will reward or punish you equally. Knowing the rules of the life early on can make your life more liberated and less fearful.
Therefore live compelling life rather than a compelled life, live your life rather than for others be it boss, money or any other illusionary goals.
Many rich people reason and camouflage their en-slavery to money with lofty social goals like ‘we are giving employment to many’, they are but is giving jobs their personal goal in life? No. It is only making money.
We, employer and employees, all have enslaved us with one or other things. Some are not aware about this and some believe they can’t do anything about it. But the reality is all of us can free ourselves from this unwanted slavery, we pursue the whole life.
Believe in destiny, it will work irrespective of what you do, so why not do what you like, love and passionate about without worrying?
“Life either a daring adventure of nothing.” Helen Keller.
We all have to believe in her because;
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs.
Believing in destiny is very empowering as it liberates us from our fear and allows us to pursue our dreams.
Are you happy with what you are doing with your life? If the answer is NO, what are you doing about it TODAY?
There is an ocean at the bottom of which there are countless dangerous creatures suffering miserably, beyond the ocean, there is an island, a place where there is no pain, but only permanent bliss/ happiness and there is a ship sailing in the ocean.
There are many people with different abilities, knowledge, and resources traveling on the ship. These differences are as per the standard rules applicable to everyone.
These people on the ship indulge in various activities while on the ship. People with abilities and knowledge are busy with using their skills to earn money and acquire resources; people who already have more resources are still busy in splurging in excesses, earning more money and acquiring more resources. Some of these resourceful people are also helping others who have fewer resources. This way they feel good having done good for the deprived people. Some are busy in improving the ship and some are busy in improving the living condition of the travelers of the ship. Some are busy enhancing their knowledge about the ship and people of the ship. Some are busy in ruling people on the ship.
Rules of the game:
Everyone on the ship will be thrown out of the ship anytime without any prior notice or intimation.
They will sink if they don’t know how to swim and will join those many suffering creatures living at the bottom.
They do not have knowledge about these rules when they enter the ship, but they have to know it by their own during their ship stay.
The moot question for all the travelers of the ship:
What should be the first priority of everyone traveling on the ship?
Pondering over the moot question is important for all of us because we all are the travelers on the ship.
MORE money, MORE sales, MORE business, MORE profit, MORE growth, MORE success, MORE fame, MORE followers, MORE attention, MORE social visibility and everything MORE we all are after 24 X 7 days after days.
Business first is the motto of most of us, whether we are on a vacation or spending time with the family. Ringing a mobile phone for a business purpose during our free/family time is a sign of our Busy-ness and gives us a sense of pride.
Most seminars and conferences are about MORE. The bestselling books like ‘Secret’ talks about attracting MORE.
The hunger of our five senses and insatiable desire for everything MORE keep us extremely busy that we have no time to pause & think about the self. How many of us have ever given a thought to the following question?
Our demand on time (which is very limited) from business, family, our own agenda of name and fame, parties, social engagements, entertainment and what not keep us away from asking some critical questions stated above.
Every New Year is a time to pause and think, but we waste the opportunity in MORE partying and MORE dancing and MORE sleeping. Our passion for sensual pleasure, material success and ‘so called’ social compulsions are not allowing us to look and think inward.
In Yogic terminology looking inward is known as Pratyahara (Withdrawal of senses). We don’t dare to look inwards as we are afraid to ask these questions to ourselves.
We live like an animal and die like one.
Mahavira and Buddha were born rich but left their palaces and left everything in higher pursuit and the person who was after MORE his whole life, the king Alexander said, “A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.”
Whether they were born rich or had become rich by spending their whole life, both had realised MORE accumulation of material things and MORE wealth is useless as the purpose of human birth is not for the accumulation of wealth and satisfying our senses.
We all are busy people and value our time enormously. We don’t waste a second for useless things. Our smartness tells us time is money. But the irony is we waste our whole life for things which ultimately are useless
Bhaj Govindam 2nd stanza says
Oh fool! Give up your thirst to amass wealth, devote your
mind to thoughts to the Real. Be content with what comes
through actions already performed in the past.
We are not smart, but fool as rightly addressed by the author of Bhaj Govindam. We waste our precious human time in our pursuit of MORE wealth and MORE sensual pleasure. The wealth will remain here and the body with all its senses will go to the funeral pyre after we leave this body.
These wasteful and useless activities for MORE we are doing are in exchange of limited years left in this human birth. & we call ourselves smart. It’s time to pause and think. This human body is a limited time offer.