Sunday, September 19, 2010

Poem by Rama Tirtha

Know for certain that you yourself are God,
The supreme Self, the eye of the eye,
Which the eye cannot see.
You are the essence of speech,
Which speech cannot express.
You are the hearer of hearing,
Which the ear cannot hear.
You are the life of life,
Who does not need the lifeforce to love.
Recognize that you are the light of the mind,
Which the mind cannot know.
O man of God,
When duality goes, what do we lose?
Have you ever drunk such a potion as this?
Till now, you have never done yourself justice.
You took an ocean for a water drop
And perceived not the mountain within you.
The brilliance of all lights is yours,
Why are your own eyes dim?
The voice of the bubble in the river
Says, “You and I are one.
Do not think yourself different,
You and I are one.”
When the bud burst at dawn in the garden,
It whispered quickly into the ear of the rose,
“Today my tongue has been loosened,
You and I are one.”
When the mirror was held before the face,
The reflection seemed to say, “Brother,
Why are you so amazed to see me?
You and I are one.”
The grain of corn said to the sheaf,
“Quiet, this is no place to argue.
A glimpse of unity has appeared in multiplicity,
You and I are one.”
When I came into the world, I saw
That all growth proceeds from my true essence.
As the strand is one with the cotton.
You and I are one.
Why do you think I am a stranger,
Why do You hide your beautiful face?
Remove the curtain, come forward,
You and I are one.
O seekers of God,
I am with you at every moment.
I am manifest in your eyes
And hidden in your hearts.
The notion that I am distant or hidden
Is purely your fancy.
I am ever present as your support,
Like the sea supporting the wave.
I am charmed by my own beauty,
I am present in love and amidst lovers.
I am Leila and Majnun, Wamiq and Azra.
Sometimes I practice supplication,
Sometimes independence is my glory.
Both attitudes suit me,
I am both servant and master.
In form I am human, in nature divine.
I am more manifest than the manifest,
More hidden that in the hidden.
My nature is unlike the objects of the world.
Though hidden in my true nature,
I am manifest as the world.
Though in reality I have no veil,
Yet am I encased in the veil of concealment.
Earth and sky cannot contain your greatness,
Yet You are wholly present within my heart.
No hint of duality can enter your unity,
No mirror can hold itself up before You.
Go your ways, messenger! Only one’s own heart
Can receive a message like this.
Beware, imprudent one, do not forget God.
If you can forget, forget the ego.

        by Rama Tirtha
    *    Rama Tirth, the well-known poet-saint from India, was born on October 22, 1873, in the village of Muraliwala, about 60 miles north of Lahore, in what is now Pakistan.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Seeking Enlightenment

Now more than ever many people have added a new quest to their daily existence – “I want to be a Buddha” or I want to live spiritually. So they set about it, seeking spiritual guides and gurus, wearing “malas” and doing japas, finding new forms of meditation, reading every book on enlightenment and trying so hard to “love” everyone. Then they realize that their life has become even more miserable than when they were not spiritual.

Of course, this is how it is supposed to be. When you are on the spiritual path, your life is bound to get more difficult and exhausting, at least till you are finally liberated. If the path was not difficult you will not appreciate the beauty of the final recognition that you are a “no-thing”, that you have no center, that you are not an idea called “me”.
So seeking enlightenment is bound to make you suffer, it’s bound to frustrate you and it’s bound to exhaust you, provided you are really authentic and honest in your quest.

What do you find at end of seeking?

You don’t find anything, you don’t reach any state, you are not in possession of a new knowledge, you don’t become holy, you don’t create any new identities. The final liberation is when you find that you are not what you ever thought you were – that you are “nothing” itself, pure and simple to the core. You are not awareness, you are not consciousness, you are not soul, you are not god, you are simply nothing. But not a dead, empty, spiritless, boring nothing, but a rich, free and dancing nothing.
And then there is no doubt, there is no need for confirmation, there is no need to “do” anything to get somewhere, there is a final and complete liberation for this mind. Then you dance empty handed, and realize that you have always been dancing empty handed it’s just that now you know it. You have always been free, but until you realize it there is no freedom.

When the mind is liberated it does not seek “sanyas” or detachment. It becomes really playful and even mischievous. It has no problems anymore to deal with; it knows that it’s a servant to a higher power that you are. Now it does what it’s supposed to do, it plays, it creates, it enjoys and it relishes life in every way without any fear or bondage.

The truth of who you are, it’s so liberating and yet so powerful. It has a deep strength that you could never have imagined. This is the strength that propelled Jesus, this is the strength guided Ramana, this is the strength that enshrouded Siddhartha Buddha and yet it’s so ordinary and so fresh. It’s not “divinine” or holy, it’s just simply nothing. It’s as much in a piece of shit as it is in a pearl or a diamond. It’s as much “you” as it was Jesus or Ramana.

The Buddha was no different from who you are, and yet we worship him, we place him on a pedestal, we look at him as a divine figure and so we alienate him into a “god head”. So Buddha becomes a concept and a state that needs to be achieved.

And yet we are all “Buddhas” in our essence. It’s not something “big”, it’s just our true nature. We are all simply the nothing that is everything. And this is not an imagination but a simple reality, a scientific reality, a truth beyond ideas and concepts. But you have to realize this truth to know that it’s scientific, that it’s a fact, that it’s absolutely real, and that all your other ideas and concepts were unreal and imagined, but not the truth. Truth is not imagination, truth is reality.

Why do we seek enlightenment?

Because our nature wants to know itself. We are tired of our delusions and imaginations. We are tired of the endless tyranny of thoughts that the “unliberated” mind churns out. We are tired of moving like zombies everyday, begging for scraps of happiness from our circumstances. We are tired of seeking love and feeling cheated. We are tired of seeking money and feeling poor. We are tired of living everyday in fear.

We finally realize that this is not how we are supposed to live, that there is something within us that knows that the mind is in a wrong vision, we know intuitively that we are meant to be “free” and playful. We know this because we are “it”, we are freedom itself. Seeking enlightenment is the pull of your nature towards itself.

Once the seeking starts, it can only end in liberation. Till it ends, there will be suffering. Once it ends, you are free, and free forever. Nothing can ever touch this final realization. No ideas, no concepts, no arguments can ever take you away from your realization. You know you are finally home. This is the end of seeking and it’s an incredible relief.

When we seek enlightenment, we are constantly holding on to identities. We think we are awareness, we think we are consciousness, we think we are the “Now”, we think we are the Buddha, we think we are the space. We imagine all sorts of states, we imagine ourselves to be something, and it’s very exhausting, it’s very frustrating. And it finally ends when we run out of all our identities and the “me” finally dies to that fact that it never existed in the first place.

So keep seeking, keep exhausting yourself, keep running amok till you find that it’s all useless. You realize finally that you are already who you are, that you don’t have to “be” anything. That’s when the “me” jumps off the cliff and you become “centre less” the way you have eternally been, and then the mind starts dancing.

            *from Towards Life blog