Didi, we usually cry when a close one dies. There is a high possibility that he/she has finished his/her karma bag and will not take birth again. Instead of crying we should be happy for them. We cry for our own selfish reasons as we can’t see and interact with them. Similarly, if someone is born, because of their karma, it’s not such a happy news because that soul has some thousands of positive and negative karmas to exhaust. Why don’t we do the reverse? Why don’t we get upset when someone is born and be happy when someone dies? Is my thinking normal? If not, what is the correct thinking?
Your thinking is perfectly yogic thinking, but not everyone is a yogi my dear. Not everybody has reached that stage where they understand the TRUTH AS IT IS.
Why haven’t they reached that stage?
It is because of MAAYA. They are engulfed by Maaya. Maaya is hovering all over them, on their sides, in front, behind, above, below, all over. They find it very difficult to come out of the cobweb of MAAYA. So it is extremely difficult for them to accept the highest TRUTH. Maaya makes one believe that Life is about ‘attainment’ of material.
Remember that, house, car, gadgets, etc are just matter. Even name, fame, power, position, relationships are all material gains. Almost all of us are slaves of MAAYA. Only a few handful of us have the maturity & strength to see the Truth as it IS! These wise ones slip out of the hands of MAAYA. These few yogis move towards MAAYI.
Maayi is that which cannot be measured – love, peace, joy, contentment. Maaya is all that which can be measured like name/fame/power/relationships/money, etc.
Maayi cannot be attained. Maayi happens automatically when one overcomes Maaya.
Attainment of riches/name/fame/power/relationships/objects like house, car, phone/religious titles/etc is celebrated, loss of the same is mourned. Therefore, birth is a celebration and death is an unhappy event for those under the influence of Maaya.
Dispassion towards riches/name/fame/power/relationships/objects like house, car, phone/religious titles/etc is celebrated, attachment to them is mourned. This dispassion brings contentment, joy, peace and bliss automatically. Therefore, birth and death are looked upon as merely events that one need not attach to, for those that have transcended Maaya and attained Maayi.
A yogi who walks the spiritual path sincerely, ultimately realizes that everything is just ‘a play of karma’. It is all a game of Chess. It doesn’t matter on which side of the Chess board you are. You are bound to lose the game. He quits playing.
Because he understands through his own experience that being born itself is bondage. Childhood is bondage. Teenage is bondage. Adulthood is bondage. Old age is bondage. Death is bondage. Life is bondage. Birth to death; death to birth; again birth to death; again death to birth; the vicious cycle of bondage traps all. A yogi realizes that, one must ardently make an effort to achieve that ultimate truth about the reality of Life. He ponders constantly on questions like – What is the purpose of this existence? Why are we here? How did we come here in the first place? And how to get out of this vicious cycle? Not everyone has the courage to search for the true answers because not everyone has the patience and courage required for these ultimate questions.
Why is patience and courage required?
Firstly, the answers to these questions cannot be found in a scripture or a book or in philosophy or even given by a Guru. You need to find your OWN answers, your OWN path. This takes an extremely long time and ardent effort, therefore patience and courage are required
Why make efforts? Isn’t just being on the path with a Guru sufficient?
No dear, its not sufficient. Arjuna and Duryodhana were with the same Guru Dronacharya. But Arjuna was very hard-working and committed therefore he excelled. Rama and Laxmana were with the same Guru Vasishtha but Rama was the one who was extremely sincere about his spiritual path and became enlightened. Every Guru teaches you to do your own Purushartha/self effort. The effort is required as the mind does not easily follow everything that the Guru is teaching. For e.g. Knowing that meditation is good for you, you are irregular with your meditation/sadhana.
Because it is still not your own experience that meditation will take you to the ultimate peace. If you knew that IT IS the ultimate answer and the ONLY purpose of life, the ONLY goal worth striving for; why would you not wake up in the morning and meditate? You definitely would!
Because right now it is just a belief for you. In Hindi, it is called ‘manyata’ – a belief! It is not your own experience [Swabhava Gnyana]. When you attain ‘Swabhava Gnyana’ or SELF experience, then you don’t need an external motivation to meditate or find the TRUTH for yourself. 99% of the people out there are suffering from this ‘manyata syndrome‘. They have not experienced it by themselves because they don’t have the courage to fight the cobwebs of Maaya and search for the TRUTH.
How long does it take to attain Swabhava Gnyana?
It takes a very long time to come to this truth. It is not easy, it is only for those who are ready to work hard for it. Even those who attain Swabhava Gnyana have not arrived at it in one lifetime alone. They have been meditating for many lifetimes. Those wise ones can clearly see that birth and death are merely events. They can be equanimous and detached to both.
Pat yourself on the back! You have reached the ultimate realization! Keep walking! Keep walking! The path is meant for yogis like you. You will surely attain the ultimate TRUTH!