Need of the hour -11
I come back to our ancient and prestigious thought of “Ekathwa”, if we recall? Advaita is not called Ekathwa despite the fact that it clearly articulates Oneness! Within this word Advaita, there is that acceptance of the fact that for a layman it might be multicity but there is that oneness in that Multicity which a layman is not able to see and hence the assertion.
Here’s an interesting reference I have seen,
Yatra hi dvaitam via bhavati…tad itara itaram vijaanaati…
Yenedam sarvam vijaanaati, tam kena vijaaniyat?
“When there is a duality, one can understand the other. But by what process can we know that by which everything is known? How can we know the knower?”
– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – 2-4-14
Power of discrimination helps the human mind to organize things, recognize patterns and form associations. We all look to understand the reality around us by defining all that surrounds us. Defining something enables us to organize our thoughts. It enables us to organize the reality around us in terms of, let us say for example, day and night.
This power of discrimination is hugely important to the human evolution and the progress of civilizations.
The basis for this power is reasoning. Through reasoning we learn to define things and organize the reality around us. Reasoning is a consequence of human evolution. It is a convenient tool…a survival tool! It is hugely important, as we all agree, to know right from wrong, good from bad, acceptable from unacceptable, dangerous from safe or even love from hate. It makes living our lives a little more convenient. For one, when faced with danger or unfamiliar circumstances, the power of reasoning allows us to safely protect ourselves by taking refuge in what we have learnt to accept as good for us. It is a survival technique!
Now, why are we talking about discrimination and reasoning? The subject of our discussion is Advaita, not reasoning. I admit, I digressed a bit to make a point.
Advaita is beyond reasoning. Tools of reasoning are inadequate and probably unnecessary should we choose to pursue the realms of Advaita. In order to pursue these realms, there are few illusions and assumptions about our life that we should be willing to look beyond.
One such illusion we all carry with us is the need to seek purpose in our lives. Now, this is a powerful and somewhat contradictory statement. Without purpose we cannot lead meaningful lives. And that is true. Seeking a purpose and living out our lives in realization of that purpose keeps us well organized and saves us from chaos, immoral behaviour or indiscriminate acts. As such we cannot give up working towards a purpose in our lives…service, greatness, wealth, discovery, progeny, love, hate, revenge and the like. The powerful human bonds that surround us validate the need for this purpose in life. This is the realm of Karma. We all have to seek out a purpose and live out our lives in realization of that purpose. However, the tricky part here is that realization of a purpose symbolizes accomplishment. It makes us seek a reward in return for fulfilling our purpose. And that is a trap! Not that we want to never seek reward for our work. On the contrary, we should. However, we should also realize that this is a game. I will have more to elaborate on this at a later date, may be with better knowledge on this subject.
Advaita serves no worldly purpose. Realizing it is not a pre-requisite for leading out a purposeful life and not realizing will do you no worldly harm. Why then should one seek out the path of Advaita? Now, that is the important question to raise before choosing to venture into the realms of Advaita. I will have my views to share, should you care.
At a very superficial level, Advaita means seeking to merge into our self with the reality around us (God) and becoming one with that reality. In so doing, we abandon our identity as a distinct individual and become one with the supreme reality. Or, if we would prefer, become one with the supreme and enduring truth!
Truth is a singular noun…. it does not lend itself to plurality. Advaita similarly does not lend itself to duality. There is but one truth. Every thing in pursuit of that truth is a transitory phase.
There are two truths to our lives…. one Existential & other transendental…
If one has to build a meaningful narrative of one’s life one has to explore in both these avenues. One is not in isolation of the other…On the contrary, isolating oneself from the transcendental truth of our lives is like limiting the amount of oxygen reservoir one holds, a vacuum of sorts! If advaita as we mentioned in our note is the guiding principle for building our story that journey cannot be just existential….
Lets switch gears and explore on the
“shaping of thoughts that shape the future” ….
I am just exploring here and giving ourselves a little bit of freedom to veer, but I would like to journey through this, so take the liberty of giving it a direction from our end…
Why do we need to shape thoughts? Are the current thoughts inadequate? Or the current thinking is lacking some perspectives? Or that the current thinking has a lot of baggage it drags with it as it thinks? Probably some of everything! Isn’t it?
What do we orient these thoughts towards? There has to be a larger purpose? Isn’t it…. earning immense wealth …making new discoveries, if I am scientist or doing lot of public good or some such?
What are our thoughts on shaping the thoughts for a better future?
What we think is important thinking. It deserves serious reflection and personal judgement. I can indulge to a certain extent in dispassionate reflection…however, I will not do much justice, inspite of objective arguments, to validate or counter key aspects of personal judgement that we bring up…
It on and on and on, We need to realise somethings to unleash many things from within, again, what is this within, its on, and on, lets think to INK further on the subject…
So, are we back again!!! Is it Ekathwa or Advaita?