Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sarvam Shivamayam

This succinct aphorism enshrines in it a truth too overwhelming and yet obviously simple. All around us we are able to see the statement in action and we bear testimony to its veracity day in and day out. The world around us with its amazing and mind boggling array of spectacular lifeforms ebbing with energy and the flabbergasting universe with its luminous stellar residents continues to affirm this fundamental truth of life. The Vedas, the upanishads, the puranas and all other holy granthas strive to highlight this eternal truth to people shrouded by the darkness of ignorance and deluded by the iron clad grip of Maya.The 'Prasthana Traya' or spiritual trinity which form the cornerstone of Hindu religion and philosophy make an effort to enable its readers and genuine knowledge seekers to understand and comprehend this truth and thereby become empowered. 

This simple yet puissant truth has profound implications on our thought process and our view of life. The realisation of this truth is the culmination of many eons of relentless quests and restless journeys targeted towards unearthing the truth, the substratum of the entire Universe made up of name,form and action. To understand that the supreme being is the source of everything and in short can be defined as that from which we emerge, that by which we are sustained and that towards which we all proceed in the end is the underlying motif of these scriptures. Like many fundamentally powerful statements, as the popular expression goes, 'merely enunciating it will not bring it into force', for it is a truth to be experienced and a never ending delight to be revelled in. 

The ethereal spiritual grantha known as 'Tripura Rahasya' puts this in perspective for its readers. The plethora of diverse objects both living and non living that we are able to behold around us is nothing but an image in the consciousness of the divine. The fleeting transitory images beheld on the lustrous surface of a mirror are akin to the things found in this universe. It is not the image that is permanent but the reflecting surface that is ever-existent. With the human intellect being obfuscated by fabricated and unreal material constructs, the bright effulgence of the divine consciousness inhering within all of us in the form of prakasha cannot be discerned. So the simple solution to this problem would be to stop focussing on the fleeting images and start directing our attention to the surface on which they are seen. By mitigating the monstrous thought waves that have engulfed the human mind blinding its vision one can behold the startling and dazzling brilliance of the atman that shines forth within every one of us. By removing the unending superimpositions of various fictitious psychological constructs such as the notion of 'my body', 'my mind' , 'my relatives' and so on one will truly become empowered to see the supreme divinity in all beings great and small and the looming threat of material tensions will fade away to testify their evanescent nature. 

But is this as simple a task as it may sound?What are the different ways of doing it? What is the difference between people who are constantly engaged in their karma and people who renounce earthly activities and retire to quieter places to reflect on the self? Are moksha and karma mutually exclusive? What are the ways of attaining the elusive goal of moksha, the ultimate emancipation, freedom from the ceaseless and vicious cycle of birth and death?
Let us embark on a journey together to explore the tenets of Vedanta and understand the true meaning of these timeless aphorisms that serve as the beacon light of hope in these troubled times. Let us combat the hedonistic forces that plague this earth and surmount materialism and transcend the rudimentary. With the grace of that three eyed and all knowing being Maha Shambhunatha, the lord of the Universe,  I hope that this journey would help us unravel several mysteries of life and finally savour the boundless grace and infinite compassion of Parameshwara.

सर्वं खलु इदं एवाहं , नान्यदस्ति सनातनं ॥ 

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