Live in Eternity
The world process in which the soul experiences repeated births and deaths is a projection of the Eternal Self. With its vast spaces and immense scales of time, with its galaxies, planets and stars, with its lofty mountain peaks and deep ocean trenches, it is but a trifle, a fragment of the non-dual Self.
It is impossible for the spirit in man to be satisfied with the objects of the world. Desires cannot be appeased by sense enjoyments, even if one were to prolong life or continue to incarnate through millions of embodiments, how can a thirsty traveler ever quench his thirst with the waters of a mirage?
This world of time and space is a refraction of the Divine Self caused by the limited prism of the mind. In fact, the Divine Self is unaffected and untouched by this world process. Your waking consciousness is unaffected by the experiences of your dreams. As the sky remains unaffected by drifting clouds, and the movie screen is unaffected by the dramatic images coming from the projector, similarly, the Self is unaffected by the world of time and space.
Every time you go to sleep, Nature compels you to set aside your mind and you enjoy a state of consciousness unburdened by time and space. In this state, there is no duality of seer and seen. There is no multiplicity of numerous beings in diverse relationships with each other and with the objects of the world. Time does not exist and space has no significance to the sleep consciousness in man. If one were to experience this state of non-duality while awake and under no compulsion from nature, this would be the state of enlightenment or liberation.
In a serene mind, practice Vedantic enquiry into “Who am I?“ Question the very existence of your ego and discover that the ego-sense in you is an illusory superimposition on the Absolute Self. When lacking a limpid mind and clear intellect, you continue to listen to the whispers of the ego and create impressions of attachment and hatred towards the objects of the world. As these impressions intensify, you become insensitive to the Universal Self that abides in you and begin to live in the narrow confines of egoistic concepts. Your pleasures and pains are defined by the impressions that you have generated in your unconscious. You do not live in the world of reality but in the world of projections.
In order to discover the inner sensitivity of your soul for experiencing eternity and infinity, you must learn to be free from the burden of the mind. As an aspirant cultivates the ability to transcend the mind and senses, the following spiritual qualities will also begin to develop. One should promote these qualities in life, as they will enable you to abide in the Eternal Self that lies deep within you:
Balance of Mind
A Sage does not allow his mind to be unbalanced due to elation and depression caused by varying conditions of prosperity and adversity in daily life. However, an aspirant must practice any quality that is spontaneous in a sage with effort. He or she must balance his mind in daily life and cease the tendency to move from elation to depression and vice-versa. If the mind continues to swing back and forth, you will be unable to break the illusion of the world process.
Moderation in Life
Your movement in life must be characterized by tenacity, perseverance, faith, and self-control. If you turn to extremes, you will unbalance your steps. The greatest secret of success in life lies in keeping your movement rhythmic, balanced, and harmonized. You must be moderate in food and drink, in sleep and recreation, in fasting, austerity, and in meditation in order to maintain a sustained movement on the path to spiritual Enlightenment.
If you are unbalanced in your movements, your practice will be discontinuous and unsuccessful. You may show a deep interest in pursuing a certain aspect of yoga for a few days only to give up shortly thereafter. While new undertakings begin with enthusiasm, you become bored in a short while.
In a rhythmic and balanced movement of life however, you will steadily progress along the path of yoga without developing boredom towards meditation, repetition of mantra, or other yogic practices. In fact, you will continue to discover new thrills and unique joys in practicing them.
A sage is ever free from desires. He becomes the master of his mind and senses. He is untouched by the objects of the world, because he’s not psychologically involved with them. An aspirant must promote this quality of dispassion.
Increasing dispassion is the mark of spiritual advancement. Because all attachments and relationships are founded on the egoistic illusions of the mind, one begins to transcend them as he advances on the path of yoga. You no longer crave the objects as if you were a slave to them. Rather, you realize that the world moves with a unique sense of spontaneity under the command of Divine Will. Therefore, whatever is needed for your spiritual advancement will manifest without your egoistic yearning. You will enjoy the majesty of the desire-less mind.
In the state of Self-realization you will have no cause to fear anyone in the world, nor will you cause fear in others. Therefore, you must practice the art of fearlessness in your daily life. Do not fill your mind with impressions of fear by associating with uncultured people, watching violent programs, or reading books that engender terror within your heart.
Do not continue rehearsing a calamity before it happens. If you were to meet any negative development without a prior rehearsal of it, you would find it has no negative element in it. The dark shadows that frightened you in the night, when approached, is found to be your own dear friend. In the same way, every dark shadow that is feared by your mind, is in fact, a projection of the All-Compassionate, Divine Self.
In the atmosphere of fearlessness, the rare qualities of the soul bloom in the gardens of the heart. When the frost of fear invades the inner regions of the heart however, all the tender aspirations of a person and all his sublime sentiments are chilled to a state of inertia. Knowing that fearlessness is the way to spiritual unfoldment, one should not cause fear in others. By doing so, one creates karma for experiencing fear in the future.
Promote fearlessness in others, and in turn, live in increasing fearlessness. Your mind will abound with spiritual energy when you stop wasting your mental energy on the numerous fears and uncertainties of life. With this vigorous mental state you will be able to penetrate the veil of ignorance and realize, “I am the non-dual Self.” Where there is non-duality, there is NO fear – thus the does Upanishads declare.
Compassion and Selfless Service
A sage is ever compassionate towards the suffering of others. In the absence of spiritual enlightenment, people are able to show great affection and tenderness towards their loved ones, but their loving concern for others is limited and restricted. There is an egoistic expectation, an unconscious attachment, and a subconscious deception in human relationships that are devoid of spiritual vision. One person helps another because of various egoistic reasons. When the person who has been helped does not show expressions of gratitude, or if he does not benefit his benefactor, he becomes a basis for resentment and bitterness.
In the case of a sage, his compassion is spontaneous, like the fragrance of a blooming flower. His inner union with the Cosmic Stream of Life enables him to be constantly engaged in helping mankind to understand the root cause of all sorrows in life, and the manner in which that root cause can be eradicated. The life of a sage flows with selfless service for humanity.
Though performing various actions out of goodwill towards all, a sage is untouched by the actions and their results. An aspirant must therefore strive to practice selfless service by curbing his egoistic interests. He must learn the art of humility and selflessness, and feel an increasing sense of surrender to Divine Will in order to discover the Moon of Universal Love shining in the firmament of his heart.
Intuitional Realization of the Self
A sage is ever immersed in the awareness of the Universal Self. His intuitive vision beholds the Self behind all names and forms. An aspirant must purify his reason by practicing Vedantic enquiry and spiritual devotion. When the intellect is freed from the pressure of egoistic illusions, its light begins to discover the glory of the Self in every object of the world. With a keen intellect, an aspirant now realizes that happiness does not come from the objects of the world. He understands that the objects are illusory manifestations of the Self.
The masses run after objects yet are unable to touch them from a vital point of view. They are like racing winds around the eye of a hurricane. Due to the increasing discernment of his intellect however, an aspirant begins to behold glimpses of the Transcendental Self. This spiritual process allows his intellect to bloom into intuition.
Constant thoughtfulness, reflection, and meditation enable an aspirant to attain intuitive realization of the Self. These are the bases of all great qualities in human life and are the foundation for building a sublime culture and promoting a higher form of education in human society. These qualities are the spiritual flowers that must be offered to the Supreme Divinity shining in one’s heart. This is the message of all religions and spiritual systems of the world though they speak in “different tongues.”
By unfolding these qualities, you learn to live in the Eternal Self deep within you. You are not this perishable personality. You are not this wandering ego-self. You are the Eternal Atman! – beyond the world of time and space. You are vast like the sky, unaffected by the diverse conditions of the world. Why do you wander in vain in the illusions of time and space? Enter into the Heavenly Palace of Eternity, conquer all the shadows of death, and realize, “I am He!”