Dear Fellow Seekers,
Love and Love alone ....
I am sending herewith the first post -- Introduction on Vedanta -- from Sri
Santatmananda, as a prelude to Srimad Bhagavad Gita postings. This may take
a few posts from today onwards. Kindly go through leisurely and intently to
grasp the essence of the philosophy, before we embark on learning and
appreciting the depth of SBG.
Love and Love alone ....
P. Gopi Krishna
Knowledge is the easiest thing to be obtained. It involves no operation or
action on its part. It is as true as the object, as real as the means is.
The Fundamental problem
What is it that I am really seeking through my various pursuits in life?
What do I seek when I pursue money, pleasures, fame, name, power or heaven?
Do I seek all these for the sake of themselves? If it were just for
themselves, I would be satisfied when I fulfilled any given desire.
However, I am only momentarily satisfied when I fulfill them. Soon I find
myself with other set of desires. This way the desires I entertain may
change in nature and in time. But one thing remains constant, in spite of
all accomplishments I may have, me the unsatisfied and inadequate person,
the person who would like to become somebody different from what I am at
present. Why? Because I am conscious of myself and as a result of my
relating with the world, I have a judgment about myself. My conclusion
about myself is that I am limited, mortal, subject to sorrow.
I cannot accept myself as I am and therefore make attempts throughout my
life to be acceptable to myself by pursuing different things. However, if I
am an individual confined to this limited body, with limited powers to
change situations, things and people in this vast universe, it seems
impossible that I will one day become totally acceptable to myself and find
a lasting fulfillment that does not depend upon any situation, any given
place or time.
This preliminary inquiry into the nature of my pursuits leads me to the
fact that there is no connection between what I want and what I do: I want
to be free from being a wanting, limited, insignificant person. And my
different pursuits in life have only the capacity to give me a temporary
relief, in the form of momentary satisfaction and joy.
At this point, some will say, this is the reality of existence. Life is
meaningless, you are a limited entity confronted with the immense forces of
the world and you have to accept this fact of existence. You can give a
meaning to it by your actions: just be an ethical person and try to excel
in what you do, whether you are in business, arts, science or working in a
company, contribute to the society as much as you can, but do not expect
anything more than this from life. And do not forget to enjoy the small and
big pleasures of life! But how can I accept this kind of reality and
dismiss this intense aspiration for freedom from fear and sorrow, this
fundamental search for everlasting fulfillment that seems to be at the core
of my being?
Others will say, there is a heaven where you will enjoy eternally some
special pleasures, provided that you behave well and follow the
commandments of our scripture. But how can limited prayers and good actions
that I do in this life produce an eternal stay in heaven? Since any limited
action cannot produce a limitless result, eternal stay in heaven cannot be
acceptable to my reason.
Then the only possibility is that maybe the conclusion I have about myself
is wrong. This is precisely what Vedanta says. It says that you are already
what you are looking for, the limitless, the whole, you are already free
from this sense of limitation, insecurity and lack. Logically, this seems
to be the only solution: because if I am really a limited individual, no
matter what I do, no action will ever produce the limitless I am seeking .
But if I am making a mistake about myself, and taking myself to be limited
while I am in reality limitless, there is a solution! And it is in the form
of knowledge of my true nature . This seems to be the only way out !
It is interesting that most religions, philosophies, psychologies, etc. do
not attempt to question this fundamental and universal conclusion that
everyone has, 'I am a limited individual'. Often they confirm the
conclusion about the limited nature of I and start their system of beliefs,
school of thought or therapy with this in-built assumption. Keeping this
paradigm, whatever solution they envisage, it can never solve my problem of
being a limited individual.
Since Vedanta addresses the most fundamental problem that is universally
faced by everyone, any discerning person will examine what Vedanta has to
say about ones true nature.