Our perception and visualization of the material world is based on prejudiced deluding beliefs along with the information given by our sense organs, mind and brain. If once and for all we accept this basis as irrational and inapplicable and instead start scientifically analyzing our true nature and our relationship with the world of animate and inanimate beings the reality that will emerge will be totally in tandem with Vedanta philosophy expounded in Vedic scriptures.
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Just as we wake up at dawn and sleep at night in the same way at a macro level the cycles of birth and death occur. The sun rises and sets everyday. Our life starts and ends for a particular time span. Just as one day of our life ends and another day commences the following day so too one entire life span of our ends one day (death) and another life span commences (birth). For this there should be no sorrow or fear. If we always maintain this awareness we can truly glorify our lives and live without constant fear and stress that nags us all day in and day out. If in order to make our future bright we have to undergo certain trying times in the present no one will abhor it because the law ‘this moment too shall pass’ will definitely take its course. A wise man will never carry out unwholesome actions which no doubt gives him temporary pleasure but which in the long run will give him nothing but strife and agony. If we remain constantly aware of the transient nature of both happy and sorrowful circumstances all our mental taints like greed, avarice, lust etc would come to a grinding halt. With the result such a pure minded person will make apt use of objects and circumstances he faces with the intention of working hard not only for his own material and spiritual advancement but that of world humanity too.
Man erroneously thinks that his present life is the ultimate life and hence fritters it away by eating, drinking and procreating. Thus his future becomes bleak and dire. Instead if man learns to look upon each birth of his amongst infinite other incarnations akin to 1 day of his life he would work as hard as a college student or a farmer in his field so as to render his future bright and radiant. He will look upon all hardships he has to undergo due to the fruits of his past actions spanning over millions of lives as very light like a blade of grass. Alas! Does man ever imbibe this attitude so as to avail its benefits? It is spiritual ignorance of his psyche that makes him think his present life to be the one and ultimate life. Such erroneous thinking induces man to act undesirably and thus he accrues sins. In order to overcome this flaw the veil of ignorance in our psyche must be destroyed in totality we will give up childish attitude of ‘eat, drink and be merry’ and instead imbibe mature ways if living ones precious human life.
All of us are living our lives like travelers living in rest houses, hotels, motels etc. We individuals of the world gather together like blades of grass flowing in a huge river. Hence it is most required that we observe the rules and disciplines of rest houses, hotels etc. Let us all learn to carry out our duties selflessly like cogs in a wheel. This will help us overcome the spiritual ignorance of our psyche which erroneously induces to like certain people by saying ‘mine’ and hating the rest by saying ‘not mine’. The right perception is ‘all of us belong to God’ and that God is our ultimate benefactor. Every human being is rotating on his/her axis by being tied to it with the rope of his/her Karma (actions). It is cosmic time that unites people for sometime only to separate them later. If we truly imbibe this fact we will refrain from getting mentally attached like glues to objects and individuals and thus bondage will run miles away from us. We must learn the spiritual art of relating ourselves to all individuals and objects of the world in a cosmic and all pervasive manner. When we attach ourselves to a few individuals like say our family members our psyche gets deluded and hence we will stoop to any level so as to satisfy their lowly desires. There are households who are used to feeding their members by availing free ration etc distributed by governments and other agencies. It is perfectly alright to take free ration in times of hardships but the problem is this becomes an unwholesome habit. Thus these people instead of making apt use of their intellect and hard work live lives of beggary and indolence. Forget working for world welfare such people cannot even uplift themselves either materially or spiritually. All these are the dire fruits of Maya or ignorance that binds us painfully to illusion. Thus the true goal of life which is first the material and spiritual advancement of an individual and then such a person contributing towards world welfare eludes us like the proverbial mirage in a dessert.
Material pleasures have been created so that we make the most apt use of them and thus not only uplift ourselves both within and without but the entire world at large too. Material means lie in the realm of an inert material world and they keep changing their color and form so as add beauty to the world. Where we err is that we wish to possess these inert objects and thus our ego becomes fat and bloated. We will definitely enter the portals of hell and downfall if we insist on bloating our illusory egos, satisfying unholy desires etc. Thus we can lead only selfish and narrow minded lives and fritter away this precious human life meant for higher material and spiritual goals.
It is certainly not wise or farsightedness on our part to look upon this illusory ego ‘I’ and our mind as the be all and end all of life’s potential. This is because our true ‘I’ is an unlimited ocean of divine cosmic consciousness which in daily parlance is called God by us all. If we divert our efforts in the direction of attaining this cosmic divine consciousness instead of running after transient material pursuits devoid of spiritual values, we can attain those divine glories which have been attained by saints, sages, great men, leaders etc all over the world right since time immemorial. It is amazing to see people give up great spiritual gains by immersing themselves in unholy acts for some transient pleasures. Such unholy acts definitely reap fruits of pain and sorrow in future. A wise person will never stoop low for the sake of some fleeting pleasures that ultimately pave the way for his long term downfall both materially and spiritually. It is the play of Maya or spiritual ignorance that induces us to execute unwanted acts for short term so called gains. Just as one mistakes land for water so too man mistakes loss for profits. It is like attacking ones own feet with an axe.
Man is so hypnotized by spiritual ignorance and mental taints that he himself creates his overall downfall in life. Thus he swims in his self created ocean of sorrow and grief. If instead man makes optimum use of 3 mediums available viz. 1) soul 2) mind/psyche and 3) 5 sense organs he not only can uplift himself but can also like a cog in a wheel contribute to world welfare, peace and prosperity. Our sense organs have been designed so wonderfully that in ordinary daily chores one experiences extraordinary ease. It is natural that we eat food to fill our bellies. The Almighty Lord is so great that he has designed our body in such a manner so as to perform our daily chores naturally with ease. By eating healthy food our soul finds contentment and peace.
The function of our eyes is to see external objects and beings for smooth functioning of our lives. Hence our eyes are so amazingly designed that our soul exudes bliss and joy on seeing beauty, grandeur etc in the world. The world undergoes the cycles of creation, propagation and destruction since eons together. In the middle stage everything is youthful/new and beautiful to look at. Be it man, bird, flower etc all have to undergo birth, growth and death. The middle phase appears beautiful. In reality all these 3 stages are beautiful in their own way. Despite this our eyes categorize these stages as desirable or otherwise. Thus whatever is in the growing stage appears desirable to us all. From the absolute standpoint nothing like ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ exists but it is our amazing eyesight that categorizes certain objects, scenes etc as beautiful and radiant so as to manifest joy and peace in our soul.
The same holds true for our genital organ functioning. Procreation is carried out even by mosquitoes, birds, worms etc. This is the natural straightforward function of the world and yet the human genital organs are imbued with so much ecstasy that not only during sexual intercourse but the mere thought of it excites our psyche no end. From the absolute standpoint all this is illusory and non-existent. What is so extraordinary for one human body to touch another body? What is the wonder in this? What does one gain from it? We can understand that actual touch sensation excites us but the important question is why mere imaginations of this touch sensation titillate our senses and psyche? The fact of the matter is that these emotions exist relatively but not from the absolute standpoint. This is because our genitals have been designed in such a way that physical contact between man and woman or either a mental visualization of it evokes excitement in our psyche. Thus our otherwise listless life experiences ecstasy and joy.
In the above paragraphs we discussed the tongue, eyes and genitals. The same can be applied to our ears and nose. We have been given eyes, ears etc so that our lives are filled with joy, zest etc. Without these sense organs our life becomes insipid and dry. The idea is to make apt and optimum use of these sense organs so that both our material and spiritual lives are enlivened and made radiant.
Apart from the 5 sense organs God has given us a psyche/mind so that by ‘touching’ our soul and consciousness we can attain pinnacles of unalloyed bliss and joy. Our sense organs are conjoined to the inert physical body. These senses contact inert objects and give us pleasure. Inertness touching/contacting inertness can give joy as can be seen via the medium of sense organs contacting their objects. When consciousness contacts consciousness, living being contacts another living being etc. one experiences bliss, joy, friendship, affection etc. Under adverse circumstances hatred, aversion, dislike, violence etc tend to manifest and yet their very existence depends on positive emotions like friendship, affection etc. If there were no darkness light would never have been given due importance. Our psyche has been designed so as to contact others and manifest love, cooperation etc for ones own well being and that of the entire world. This is why we love going to parties, discos, fairs etc. When people gather in large numbers, a sense of camaraderie manifests and thus they experience joy.
Man is attracted to sense pleasures, joy attained in congregational functions (parties, fairs, community gatherings etc) and wealth. By itself wealth has no potential of attraction. It cannot directly excite our senses or psyche. How can a coin made of metal or a currency note made of paper attract our mind? The modern day social arrangement is such that via currencies of all nations one can buy sense objects like TV, computer, delicious food etc and thus gain joy from using them. Hence wealth attracts the human psyche forcefully. This leads to wealth being included in the list of mediums/instruments that give pleasure.
A living being has 3 bodies. All three give joy and pleasure. Previously we have discussed 2 of these bodies. The grandeur of the physical body is conjoined to the 5 sense organs. The functions of food intake, sleep, sexual intercourse etc are performed by the senses. The subtle body is our mind/psyche. Proper mental functioning is dependent on contact with other people and objects. Mind attains joy due to family attachments, contact with society, leading organizations, celebrations, public programs etc. External events influence our psyche and thus we get affected by movements of various sorts in the world. Thus our psyche experiences both desirable and undesirable sensations. Novels, newspapers, movies, TV, computers etc are hence found attractive and pleasurable by the mind.
The 3rd instrument which experiences joy is our soul. It functions in the realms of the ‘causal body’. It endeavors to establish greatness, progress and glory. These are achieved via tasks carried out with sacred ideals and human values. In order that man’s greatness and yearning for walking on great paths remain undeterred an experience of bliss is added to it. This is called ‘Gaurav’ or leadership, fame and glory. Man influenced by the yearning to attain glory aspires for success in all walks of life so that in comparison to others he remains outstanding, wise and great. Thus he not only gains glory himself but sets an example to others too to follow suit.
Briefly we have discussed the taste of joy of 3 bodies of mankind. All our endeavors, aspirations, desires and activities revolve around the 3 fundamental activities of the 3 bodies mentioned above. Whatever man thinks and how he acts can be classified in 3 ways. The Almighty Lord has given us these 3 varieties so as to live a life of bliss and contentment. They also exist so that man always remains active devoid of lethargy and indolence. In order to attain these 3 types of bliss all 3 bodies will perforce remain active. Thus lethargy, insipidness, hopelessness etc run far away from us and that life will not become a heavy burden because of lack of joy. The world exists with activity as its substratum which can hence continue unobstructed. If our soul, psyche and senses gain opportunities to walk on the path of truth our life will ooze with zest and bliss.
Man starts erring when he tries to attain the above mentioned bliss via foul means or carrying out acts in haste which leads to undesirable consequences. He will not think twice to carry out illegal and unethical tasks which temporarily give you pleasure but in the long run are the very cause of your material and spiritual downfall. This undue haste is the cause of sins and mental stress/tension. Imbalance and chaos in ones life manifest due this unwholesome attitude. Overall downfall is the result of this error. One becomes a criminal, vile person etc because of our attitude of attaining sense pleasures in a jiffy without working hard with integrity and instead using foul/illegal means for their attainment. A man in haste loses his mental poise and hurriedly performs vile/unethical acts so as to amass perishable wealth, property etc. This makes him unruly and violent which then paves the way for his demeaned state both within and without. Whatever he had previously attained by the sheer dint of hard work in an ethical way too is now out of his grasp since he has adopted illegal and criminal means to attain sense pleasures. Thus our precious human life becomes a living hell full of diseases, mental strife, social boycott, financial lack and lack of soul peace. Man who is in a hurry to amass more and more loses his peace of mind and instead slowly but surely gets ensnared by poverty, tension and unbearable stress. This error is generally executed by a major portion of world humanity and the chief culprit is Maya/spiritual ignorance/Avidya. This Maya wrests away all peace and contentment bestowed on us all by God Almighty. With the result man instead of aspiring for higher material/spiritual goals demeans himself and those associated with him.
The goal of Spiritual Science is to help man master his thinking and righteous duty and manifest zest and sense of right & wrong so as to stay away from vileness and lowliness. Man should try and truly understand the nature of his very existence, goal of life and social relationships. He should march ahead on the path of all round progress by imbibing spiritual values like integrity, compassion, sense of service, humility etc in all his material and professional pursuits. He should transform his present unfulfilled state into that of omni-potency. The ultimate goal of Spiritual Science is to help us imbibe spirituality in our day to day lives (in our jobs, professions, household chores etc) with great spiritual masters (Gurus, prophets, messengers of God, saints etc) as instruments of God who ooze with divine radiance and vibrations.
We must all remember that man has been created from both inert/material and conscious principles. As long as consciousness exists in our body until then our sense organs will function smoothly. But the moment consciousness departs from our body the latter if but a heap of lifeless dust. A dead body is devoid of movement, vibration and activity. Thus it is crystal clear that man’s material body conjoined to consciousness can become a powerful source of spiritual energy but the moment consciousness departs the body is lifeless and valueless. Every second of our life is being used for amassing material pleasures (TV, computers, telephones, bungalows etc) and enjoying their fleeting joy. Despite this, when death glares at us ferociously, not even a small percent of our desires are satiated. In fact great saints of the world have time and again cautioned us that the more you try to fulfill even one desire infinite number of new ones manifest in our psyche. Thus desire satiation is nothing but a losing game.
IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE ALL GOALS OF HUMAN LIFE IT IS MOST REQUIRED THAT WE MAKE INTENSE EFFORTS NOT ONLY FOR MATERIAL PROGRESS BUT EQUALLY WORK HARD FOR SPIRITUAL UNFOLDING. BOTH, OUR MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL LEANINGS SHOULD BE MADE SACRED, ADVANCED AND GLORIOUS. IGNORING EITHER ONE OF THEM (MATERIAL OR SPIRITUAL LIFE) WILL DEFINITELY DOOM OUR LIVES AND MAKE IT A STRESSFUL BURDEN.