The title of this post seems to be an attention drawing gimmick. Well, judge it at the end of the post.
Here I only want to show a simple way to become the likes of Vivekananda (Or whosoever enlightened Guru /God you believe in).
We all are so much obsessed with our bodily condition since birth that we forget our true self. Our external world is so demanding that till death, we hardly know the self as a soul and internal world of the soul.
Our social life and the importance we attach to it, our insatiable desires of our five senses, our attachment/hatred towards family members, our job/business, friends, parenting responsibilities, politics, TV, everything consumes and kills time (limited) available to us as a human life.
The casualty is our Soul, which after the death as a human body will get any one of the bodies of animals we look around with pity and sometimes hatred.
Unless, of course a few rare souls like Mahavira / Buddha or Vivekananda who would awaken during their life time and know the real self as a Soul. They are not merely bogged down in the present body conditions, which the soul has got in its ongoing journey. This awakening will make them realise the importance of human life and the mission to be achieved in this life.
Be it Mukesh Ambani or Bill Gates, all their wealth for which they are spending their extremely precious human life will remain here when the death arrives. Awakening to the realities of the self i.e. the soul is the purpose of every human life. Without knowing the self as a soul this human life loses its purpose.
This is possible when we look inward, away from the worldly things around us. Swami Vivekananda sat on a rock memorial detached from the world and absorbed in the nature and the self i.e. the soul. When you are alone and in the lap of the vastness of the nature, when all other body related thoughts are at the bottom, the soul speaks and can be experienced.
Pratyahar is the one of the eight limbs of Yoga, which means moving inward from the world of body senses. We are so obsessed with body and exterior world that we stop at Asana and Pranayama stage only. Unfortunately, our attention to our physical needs and present social priorities do not give this chance to our soul and mostly till the death.
You can try and experiment this. Go to a sea beach or on top of the mountain and be alone. Ignore the physical world, ignore all the thoughts about our present life/circumstances seek our attention. Just be with the nature and experience the nature. At this stage someone who is talking with you is your Soul. Know it, experience it.
Detachment is the word. Mahavira did it, Buddha did it and in the recent past Vivekananda did it. It is easy, but only after once we know that this is the agenda of a human life. Knowing agenda of a human life can take millions of years and many, many births but that is a different thing.
“Man should possess dignity and alertness. Only he whose spiritual consciousness is awakened possesses this dignity and alertness, and can be called a man. Futile is the human birth without the awakening of spiritual consciousness.”
During the monsoon session, it was a logjam and parliament failed to legislate new GST law. Without this new law, the economy will fail to speed up & blah blah blah… We have plenty of laws which govern our lives. We have a parliament to legislate and have lawyers to guide us about these new laws we are governed by. Important is we are expected to know all these laws and our courts do not accept ignorance as an excuse if we fail to abide by these laws.
Point to ponder is, we human beings are governed by a plethora of men made laws, but all other living beings are not governed at all by these laws legislated by the Parliament. But there is one law which equally applies to us, the human beings and animals. However, we are oblivious of these laws because we are oblivious about who we are. We all are souls living with a body. If you don’t agree, just find out the difference between a dead body and a living body.
The only difference is the presence of the soul in a living body, which a dead body doesn’t have. Every Body is different and every Soul is similar – be it human or animal. The living thing is a soul. Though invisible, but a reality, living body and the dead body example proves this. All laws legislated by the parliament is governing human BODY and not the SOUL. All laws legislated by the parliament are ONLY governing human BODY that too of respective countries and not any other BODIES.
But SOULs are governed by natural laws – be it in human being or animal being, whether in India or in the US or in Ethiopia. With the BODY, SOUL becomes so much engrossed in bodily responsibilities, pain and pleasure that it forgets to realise the true nature of the self and laws governing the true nature i.e. SOULs.
The law of Karma governs every soul in the universe. It is a science. It has nothing to do with religion. Souls are nature’s creation and so is the law governing the souls. Like the laws of maths or physics or biology are same for every human being irrespective of following any religion and living in any parts of the world, laws of Karma is uniformly applicable to every soul.
The question, therefore is: What are these laws and who knows this right? As per the Jain philosophy, Soul attains Moksha or Salvation or Nirvana after it sheds all the layers of karma. The existence of Karma with the soul is the reason for life and death and soul getting a new body after every death. The existence of different Karmas with the soul is the reason for different body and different lives of every body. The existence of different Karmas with the soul is the reason for bodily pain, pleasure, happiness, sorrow and everything the soul suffers and enjoys.
There are numerous types of Karma which a soul attracts by its body, thoughts and spoken words. Out of these numerous types of Karma, there are eight types of main Karmas. These are:
When a soul sheds the first four types of Karma, it attains the omniscient potential of the soul. They are known as Kevalgyani. In this condition, Soul can know everything that is there to know in the universe. Jain Tirthankars had attained this status before their Nirvana i.e. shedding all eight types of Karma. According to Jain philosophy, these are the Gods. They don’t manage the universe or do anything but by shedding the Karmas from the soul, these souls have become liberated from the cycles of life and death.
After shedding first four types of Karma, they deliver sermons, many a times before finally attaining Moksha. When Jain Tirthankaras deliver their sermon after becoming Omniscient (Kevalgyan), they do it in a specially designed place called ‘Samavsharan’. Their speeches are captured by scholars known as ‘Ganadharas’ i.e chief disciples. They are renowned scholars so as to understand the speech of an Omniscient soul. These Ganadharas have to remember the speech and then pass it on to the future generations. After hearing the speech, whatever they could comprehend and remember they write it down. These written documents by Ganadharas are known as ‘Agams’.
Enlightened souls are omniscient, so what they know and experience cannot be fully understood by non-enlightened souls. These Ganadharas though highly scholars also could not comprehend 100% of the sermons of the Tirhankaras. Like Physics students howsoever knowledgeable can’t fully understand what professor, who is PhD in physics, speaks. Therefore, knowledge available in Agams, though mammoth, is not the complete knowledge expressed during sermons by the enlightened Souls.
In these Agamas, the theory of Karma applicable to every soul is given quite in-depth. Every doubt or question of an inquisitive soul is answered. There are various books that are written about the laws of karma after the sermons of Mahavira which he had delivered before attaining Moksha some 2550 years back.
I am referring to the book called ‘Karma Vipak’, a commentary by Mr. Dhirajlal Mehta on ‘Karma Granth – 1’ written during 12th or 13th century by Acharyashri Devendrasuswarji.
What is Karma, its characteristics, types of Karma, how the soul attracts new Karma, how it can be stopped, how it can be discarded – everything is there in the Jain scriptures.
Rather than seeing it narrowly as Jain or some religious things, the ideal way to look at it is as a science. Science and rules of science governing our souls, every soul. We cannot afford to remain ignorant about it, as only the human being has the potential to know this and must know it before the soul gets a new body and human body is lost. Not knowing the self as a soul is the biggest reason for our misplaced priorities. Aren’t we living in the state of The Highest Ignorance? More on the laws of Karma in the post, next weekend.