Steps of Self-Realization For You & Me!
Me, Mind and Thoughts, Besties Forever!
I am sitting in my meditation room, listening to Shrimad Bhagwat Gita. The lecture was going on, and I focused on his talk very carefully. Somehow everything started fading away.
I started searching for myself in my thoughts. I closed my eyes, and I was determined to find my image. I looked carefully. When I think of ‘Me,’ what do I see? What does that mean to my thoughts and mind? Is there an I-ness? How do I imagine myself when I close my eyes? The shape of the body? Hair? Color of my eyes? What type of clothes do I wear? How is the outer layer of I-ness of my Gross body (Sthula Sharira)?
After looking deep, I still couldn’t find myself; I was not there. Where did I go? Why don’t I have my Gross body (Sthula Sharira)? I could only see a very tiny image with no solid shape, just floating around; that image had no name or identity. I am sure it is me. It has to be me. Who else would come to mind when I close my eyes and try to find myself? I felt that tiny thing had great concern and immense love for me. I could feel it.
That image was similar to the tiniest Thumbelina but had no body shape. It is so tiny and beautiful and lighter than a feather. It is me; I am not sure why I know that. But then, what is “me”?
Where am I? Gone with the wind?
After several attempts, I finally decided to remember my photos and how I looked in them from childhood until now. Yes, I could see my pictures, but I couldn’t connect with them. They were just random pictures floating in my memories. I somehow have no connection with them. I no longer connect emotionally to my past. It felt like I was looking at someone else’s life from a third-person perspective. I spent a reasonable amount of time on this earth, and there was nothing I could say it is mine. Not even the memories? That was not cool at all.
These memories I was watching like a movie playing on the screen. They were fun, happy, joyful, sad, angry, and full of emotions for that girl in those pictures, but I (the seer), had no connection with it. It was an emotional rollercoaster of entertainment, but it didn’t affect me directly. I thought to myself, “I don’t exist anymore; did I lose my I-ness in my mind? “Or, one could say, maybe I am losing my mind! But I assure you all, my mind was intact, and I am consciousof myself.
I called out to my Guruji (Om Swami); he was there as if waiting for me to call him from my deep conscience. I could see him so clearly, his most divine smile, his kind eyes with so much love and care. His glorious shining face and his aura of wisdom and compassion. My tears began to flow with love. He is always in my heart. I was so happy to see his vision. I was glad that I didn’t lose him. I have lost my I-ness, but my Guruji is still in me. How blessed am I?
I opened my eyes and noticed that almost an hour had passed; I thought it was only 3–4 minutes, but most of I was sitting with my eyes closed. I looked at my body; it was all there. I recognized the body parts, but I couldn’t invest my emotions. All the limbs were attached perfectly; II could only see the third-person perspective, myself, and yes, Ouch! It did hurt. It is my body, I confirmed!
I understood that the concept of my Gross body (Sthula Sharira) had vanished from my mind. Or, one could say the attachment to my Gross body (Sthula Sharira) has disappeared.
Mind, Karma, and Expectations!
My Subtle Body (Sukshma sharira): The mind is evident in realizing and understanding the relation between me and my mind. There is no juggling of the thoughts all over. I know that my mind, thoughts, and required vital energies are helping me evolve from one state to other. I need them as much as they need me. Living together in equanimity is a sensible proposal for both of us. Shrimad Bhagwat Gita Chapter 3, Verse 19–21:
तस्मादसक्त: सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर | असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुष: || 19||
tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samachara asakto hyacharan karma param apnoti purushah
BG 3.19: Therefore, giving up attachment, perform actions as a matter of duty because by working without being attached to the fruits, one attains the Supreme.
कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादय: | लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि || 20|| यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: | स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते || 21||
karmanaiva hi sansiddhim asthita janakadayah loka-sangraham evapi sampashyan kartum arhasi yad yad acharati shreshthas tat tad evetaro janah sa yat pramanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate
BG 3.20–21: By performing their prescribed duties, King Janak and others attained perfection. You should also perform your duties to set an example for the good of the world. Whatever actions great people perform, ordinary people follow. Whatever standards they set, all the world pursues.
What does this mean? How would it help me?
Become a Karma Yogi. Live your life, and do your work but don’t get attached to it. While I perform mundane day-to-day work or live the life assigned to me, I have neither desire nor attachment to worldly assets. Don’t get me wrong; I am not emotionally dead. I offer a tremendous amount of unconditional love; without any attachment to everyone, including nature and surroundings. There are no expectations in return; love is equal to all. I am neither attached nor emotionally invested in any desire anymore. My fondness for the little weed growing on the sidewalk is the same as the blooming rose garden in my backyard.
Many ask me, “this is great, but how about your children? Don’t you love them more?” Of course, I love them with all my heart, but does that mean I should love less to the other human being? I love them; they all are my children. They all are my mother and father. They all are my Divine. How can I love one Divine more and another Divine less? They all are in me, and I am in all. I don’t expect anything from any Divine being; I offer my love without worldly attachment.
Me, mine, and myself (Stinker!)
Once we start getting attached, the duality begins. We get attached to one entity more and the other bit less. We stop seeing the same divinity in all. There is no pure love or detached action anymore. It starts revolving around me, mine, and myself! The demand list starts getting more prominent. You start saying to that entity, “I love you more, so you need to do this for me. You need to love me more by showing your actions towards me, which are approved or desired by me,”… and the list goes on.
Then it’s no longer pure unconditional love or action. I have seen many people doing this to the Divine as well. When they ask their holy Gods, “Please, God, if you do this for me, I will do XYZ for you,” sometimes they force God to do things for them by crying, begging, and using all sorts of emotional manipulation. They always have a list of expectations ready before communicating with the Divine.
Is that pure love? Is that true surrender?