“We are all brethren connected intellectually, morally and spiritually, the Main Goal of human life. This and that have gone now. There remains purity alone in all his work and environment, which weaves the spiritual destiny of persons with the Ultimate”. (Master’s message)
In the light of above message, it becomes clear that the purity, destiny and goal of human life are interlinked with each other in one-way or other. The future of human race is at cross road. Age-old customs give way to new ones of spiritual importance. Man has been blindly receiving the signals of change. Individual purity shall have the final say. At the first glance, it makes an easy reading and seems self-explanatory. One feels to have perceived it. No doubt, it is so because we are accustomed to use the word-purity and destination in a casual and material sense. In this context, let me cite an incident.
Once at Hospet, during founder’s day celebration, one abhyasi asked Rev. Bhai Saheb “what is meant by purity?” Bhai Saheb replied that it was difficult to explain the purity exactly. He further said that it was easy to explain its opposite. This incident is an eye-opener, it prompts one to ponder over the word ‘purity’ and its meaning. Once an exercise is taken up in this regard, one faces many a question. What is purity? What is its nature and source? How to find it out? Answers vary from person to person. They may sound convincing and appealing. They may appear philosophical and scientific but no answer touches the concept of purity.
Ideation of purity:
The Ultimate is an ideal of purity. It goes to denote that purity is an ethereal qualification. It is associated with the “Divine”. It is an intimate feeling. It is to be felt individually. No one takes up the practice only to achieve the purity as such. One takes up practice to achieve the goal of life. While doing so, the purity happens to be collateral. Its perception is possible by contrast. It implies removal of impurity (accumulation of sanskar). It is proportionate to removal of impurity. It is the impurity that blocks the path and view, like a mirror gathering the dust over its surface. Desire is the base of impurity which is a post-factor phenomenon. As the impurity decreases, the path and view becomes clear to that extent indicating the level of purity. However purity in its absolute form is the state of feeling.
Destination versus purity:
Destination refers to the condition of Ultimate Reality. It is beyond the scope of any definition. It is the goal of human life. Our Master has given us the method of practice to achieve that. There exists a definite link between the purity and human destination. They go together. They cannot exist without each other. Here, it is in a sense of contrast the purity that is variable. Less of purity keeps us away from the destination. It goes to mean that the absolute purity is the pre-requisite to achieve the goal. From the practical aspect of our Sadhana, it is imperative to get rid of all impurities and guard against refilling it. Evening cleaning and constant remembrance are of immense value. Of course, transmission is vital and essential.
Destiny vs Purity:
Destiny refers to fate. Each and every one is born with it. It remains and continues to be a great suspense and secret throughout life. Cause and effect theory determines the destiny right from day one of the past and the present lives. Purity of the corresponding life probably influences the nature of destiny. However, in our system, the practice is taken up to achieve the destination. In other words, the destiny is converted into Destination.
Our Satsangh vs Purity:
Our system is dynamic and fool proof. It has come from the Ultimate itself. Its purity is ensured. It maintains purity by itself. One, who takes up the practice under our system, develops a sense of purity, in due course of time, depending on the level of acceptance and willingness. It is present. It is observed that it is thriving among the abhyasis. It may be of course in varying degrees. This observation in respect of purity can be used empirically to classify individual as follows –
Category 1 (The commoner) – One who is not following any system, stands usually at the lowest level when compared to the purity level of an abhyasi.
Category 2 (The follower) – An abhyasi who has been following our system without understanding its philosophy and precepts, displays a definite sense of purity higher than the commoner.
Category 3 (The aspirant) – An abhyasi who has basically understood the system but does not want to undergo transformation, exhibits the degree of purity higher than the follower.
Category 4 (The seeker) – An abhyasi who goes about his practice regularly and sincerely, strives for transformation, shall have a matured level of purity higher than other categories.
Category 5 (The claimant) – An abhyasi who claims to follow the system and somehow manages to occupy the position of a status, happens to be the claimant.
Per se, it is the recommendation of our Master to hold weekly satsangh and other functions. Satsangh consists of group of abhyasis for a common goal. It provides an opportunity for interaction and exchange of views, which promotes familiarity and thinking faculty. As there are many abhyasi with different background and purity level (Ref-Category), the group sometimes faces tricky situations. In such a setup, circumstances usually develop, wherein one encounters dissent and contest. They need to be nipped in the bud. If they are allowed to persist, harmony and smooth conduct take the back seat. In other words, it is confrontation between sanctity of satsangh and purity of the group.
Rectification: The common man gets puzzled when he happens to notice such a happening in our system (setup). He observes abhyasis, their dealings, behaviour and character. When they conform to unbecoming of an abhyasi, he is driven to believe that there is something wrong somewhere. Unable to make out anything, he starts finding fault with the system. Although fault lies with the abhyasi, the defacto blemish comes to our system. Under all circumstances, each and every abhyasi should guard against this development. While celebrating a function in Bangalore, Rev. Bhai Saheb asked us to maintain the purity of the system at all cost. Way back in 1977, our Master sounded the warning signal (Lost the ocean). In spite of all this, there is no perceptible change. Let us frankly admit that our efforts by way of practice have ceased to be dynamic.
It is not to suggest that there is suspicion about our practice of precepts. Each and every one of us are after it. Even the regularity is observed. While doing so we happen to qualify the regularity. E.g. – Most of us attend Sunday satsangh. We conveniently skip/avoid individual practice of morning meditation on some or the other pretext. Similarly most of the centers conduct evening satsangh on other days of the week. Abhyasis tend to forget evening cleaning on those days. During the celebration of our functions, meditation sessions are usually conducted twice i.e. morning and evening. Everyone makes it a point to be there invariably on the fixed time. Generally, he never questions himself what he does between the sessions. Most of the time, it is either ‘serious’ gossip or ‘customary’ interaction. We consider them as a sign of social etiquette. Answer is open to debate.
An interesting observation regarding the practice of precepts is that most of us do not try to find out whether there is any perceptible change in approach and attitude, whether our sadhana is proceeding properly. One needs to feel free and discuss with the preceptor about any change or no change. Suppose, we practice and fail to look at such aspects, it amounts to mere formality. It is no better than a ritual. It is not the spirit of precepts in our system. Our precepts have their own significance. We need to revisit them so as to get the result expected and required in our own interest.
Rectification implies to set right our thinking at the individual level on the following guidelines: –
1. Clarity of Goal:
Each and every abhyasi is fully aware that the goal of life is to realize the Ultimate. When it comes to spell out its meaning, an abhyasi falters. It means lack of clarity about the goal. One has to have the idea in this respect initially. Whether it is material in nature, whether it is external in location, whether perceptible through senses, etc. are such few questions, which demand answers. Let us take them as initial idea. It becomes the first base. This is how one should proceed till the clarity reaches the maturity. If no change is perceived in clarity, one is free to express the problem before the preceptor for guidance. It is worthwhile to mention that the clarity denotes mental achievement i.e. a signal that the thinking is set in motion. It doesn’t mean to indicate that the goal of life is achieved. It is the clarity that propels an abhyasi to follow the practice in a dynamic way.
2. Guide and Goal:
Suppose, an abhyasi says that his goal of life is to realize the Ultimate, further adds that he seeks support from the Master. Here analysis reflects his concept i.e. the goal and support are kept into separate compartments. So long he keeps them separate (Different from each other), his practice becomes futile. In fact they are synonymous. Change in his concept is essential. Then only he can expect to have the desired result.
3. Reorientation of thinking:
Man, by nature, is accustomed to think always in material sense. That is why his thinking is extrovert. Reorientation means to make it introvert. For that purpose, an abhyasi should apply his mind. During his practice daily of meditation, he feels something. He calls it an experience. It is difficult to describe it exactly. It is usually expressed as lightness, blankness, calmness, lost somewhere etc. He needs to contemplate on that feeling repeatedly till he feels another experience. He is to think over the new feeling. This practice, in due course, converts him from extrovert to introvert. It is always necessary to discuss these things with the preceptor for guidance and clarification.
4. Power of Thought:
Generally, an abhyasi treats the thinking as a matter of routine and neglects it. It is a very casual approach to the thinking faculty. In fact it is the very basis of our practice. Each thought has its own power. He should cultivate the skill to make out thought power. In the beginning, he may not feel it and its effect. Persistent effort will convince him that there is something like thought power. Few examples as noted below, are illustrative. It is a common practice in many households.
1. Whenever an infant is fed, elderly women make sure that no stranger gets to see the infant while feeding. She usually takes the baby inside if need be. Idea is to avoid what is called “Drishti’ (Faulty sighting/desire based exposure). It conveys some unwanted thought through vision.
2. If the baby starts crying without any known reason lady of the house suspects ‘Drishti’ and gets rid of it through some ritual. Baby becomes calm after that.
Famous saying – “Man is known by the company he keeps” substantiates the statement that the power of thought is lurking in the group (persons) and influencing the individual. While referring to the state of oneness, our Master once humorously hinted ‘if you are in the company of ten donkeys, you will become eleventh one’. It is a satirical reference to the power of thought. There is also strong suggestion from Him regarding constant remembrance. If we do for seven days the constant remembrance, on eighth day it will not leave you. It is another example of thought power. It is an irony of tragedy that an individual possesses the thought but unaware of its power. It is something like a child playing with an atom bomb.
In conclusion, our system expects an abhyasi to have purity at all levels i.e. in thought, speech and action. Then only, one can hope to be successful.