“Desire’s decease as purity men know; That, too,
from yearning search for truth will grow” Tirukkural
Many teachers nowadays present Advaitha just as a logic to understand. But it is not at all a right method– since it doesn’t refer anything else which can probably affect one’s understanding of this concept. I mean, Advaithic knowledge is not a case of intelligence only. Your understanding of this concept depends upon some other important factors, which we are going to explore now.
We know, if we want to study something, our mental energy should be concentrated there. If it is a very tough subject, it needs the submission of our total life force to it. We do it, only if it is our need to study that subject. Otherwise we go through the peripheral only. We don’t go deeply. Then our understanding will be poor. Now, if a person at this present moment happy with his life, with his family and with his future plans, what is his need of understanding the concept of ‘life’ and ‘after life’?. No. No need. He is satisfied. He wishes to have a natural life and to have all its blessings, after that he is ready to die at old age. Quite natural. I cannot force him to understand Advaitha. Even if he tries he cannot understand it. The reason is that he cannot concentrate his life force towards the effort of understanding it.
But, there are many people who are in the path of spiritual enquiry and trying to know the supreme truth, there are many people who are curious of knowing the real nature of the universe and following science and astronomy, there are many people researching the paranormal state of mind and supernatural powers, there are many people meditating for years, there are many people suffering from physical illness and depressive disorders, there are many people who are regularly being insulted by others, there are many people deeply worrying about the demise of their loved one, there are many people continually weeping for the sorrows of the society and there are many people voluntarily sweeping the tears of the humanity.
If you search in the history you can find that the spiritual truth has always taken birth from the minds of people from the above listed groups. How could they do it? Yes, they could do it because their life force concentrated somewhat towards the supreme truth, or at least it was not concentrated against the supreme truth. But unfortunately for a common man, his life force concentrates against the spiritual truth. You may ask how this happens. Wise people say, this happens with a seemingly simple reason, and that is nothing but the ‘desires in him’.
The desires make you away from Advaitha. Advaitha says that whatever you perceive, it is totally inside your feel. Everything is inside you. Now think, what is desire? It is a strong mindset which takes your total concentration and life energy towards the object of desire. It may be wealth, money, ornaments, friends, lovers, marriage, children, health, muscles, beauty, car, house, fame or something else. Or it can be towards more than one object at the same time. And when you desire something, you can understand that you love your desire. That is, you love the concept of independent existence of that object. It gives you a thrill for desiring it. You may eagerly try to achieve it. Once again I say, it is very important to note that you love the concept of independent existence of your object of desire. And this concept is nothing but the concept of duality. And this concept of duality will surely become your concept of reality. The more you desire something, the more your duality concept strengthens as a consequence. Even the logical reasoning cannot help you in understanding the concept of Non-duality. Actually your life force will not allow you to understand it, because it is already concentrated towards duality, i.e., desires. The subject of Non-duality is not at all the case of intelligence, but it is totally the case of desires. There is nothing wrong in saying that the strong force of your own desires works against realizing the eternal nature of yourself.
The youth have more possibility to realize the concept of Advaitha. It is because they do not have blind beliefs. They believe a concept only after understanding it. They will try for anything. They will try for Advaitha also. The one who maintains youth in his mind also has more chance to realize it. Generally the youth do not show ego while hearing others. To achieve something, they are ready to obey others and will put cent percent effort for it. Now I think it is essential to make them understand the power of desires, i.e., the power of desires in keeping them away from Advaithic truth. I hope, if they can bring back the energy that is utilized for desires and reroute it to the concept of Advaitha, it will create magnificent results. Now I ask, have you ever imagined the power of your desires? If you think, you can find that most of the desires are not at all emerged in a single day. Your desires may be insignificant in its starting stage, but with time it grow to a dangerous form and then affect you adversely. You may or may not achieve your object of desire, but your emotional and spiritual stability will surely be affected by the desires. I think it is better to portray all these things with an example. Here, I have an idea. Let us move to a love story. Most of you might have heard the similar one somewhere else. But I guess, you can read the emotions in it. Ok. Simply go ahead….
He has seen her many times– each time when she is near, his heart beats more– he feels her eyes as magnets– he has not talked to her– he has a small friend circle– he hears his friends secretly narrate her beauty– he considers himself as a decent boy– he does not talk to girls unnecessarily– a situation arrives– he has a casual talk with her– a small shivering from inside– next time onwards while seeing, he wishes her– they talk frequently– friendship– he gives her special care– she shows interest in him– he collects many fabulous stories to present before her– he gives a gift on her birthday– he is now conscious more about his physical appearance– he studies well– he helps her in studying– he has sports and extracurricular activities– he invites her to see it– he tries by all possible means to impress her– she enjoys his presence– comfortable with him– whenever she approaches, he has something new with him– but this time she eagerly comes to talk, he avoids her– she is sad– but it is only his trick to make her think more about him– later he says sorry– he says his mind was not clear– some personal problems– she asks “what problem”– he does not say it– he makes her curious of knowing it– sometimes he wears an artificial sadness on his face– she asks more about his problem– he tells his problem– a fabricated or an exaggerated one– but she believes it– she tries to console him– he tells the happenings connected with his problem again and again– she tries to console him again and again– one day he declares “you are the only one from whom I get some relief”– she is happy– friendship grows– he takes more responsibility in her study, and advises her like a guardian– she is thankful to him– one day he says “my friends are saying nonsense about our friendship; they are saying it is love, but I corrected them”– he is now curious of knowing how she responds to the new idea of love in between– he plays one more trick– he says her that friendship is good and love is bad– he is curious of knowing her opinion– he frequently says her, his friends insult him by saying that it is love– he does not have enough courage to say her that he actually loves her– he has a fear– if she rejects, he will be defeated in front of her– he thinks of many plans to convey his love indirectly– gets an idea– in night he speaks with her over phone and makes her believe that he is totally intoxicated– she advises him not to drink– he says “I drink because of my personal problems. Sure, I get some relief from you. But now my new problem is you, because I happened to be in love with you. What should I do?”– she disconnects the phone– next morning he apologizes for what he did– time goes– whenever he gets chances, he takes her more and more towards love– he knows that she is interested in him, but that is not love– finally he says “I love you”– face to face– she says “No, we are friends”– he is wrecked– he cannot manage the situation– angry towards everyone around him– he is a loser– not contacting her– he makes her understand that he is going bad– starts liquor– not attending the class– his friends talk with her– they say that he was a good boy, but now going bad– she makes a phone call to him– advises him and suggests to continue friendship– he disagrees– he demands love instead of friendship– “No, we are friends” he hears it again and again– he is sad, he is angry, he is a loser– he becomes desperate and fails in exam– she makes phone calls again and again– but he tells her “Don’t call me anymore. I know my way. Above all my personal problems, now I got one more. That is you. So, please stop contacting me”– she is sad– she slowly melts– luck for him– she shows a green flag– accepts him– but not ready for a love affair– can get married, but only after getting a job– she advises him to study well– he agrees– he is happy– he is like a king who wins the battle– time goes– both of them get job– he proceeds the proposal to her family– they object– period of struggle– finally parents agree– fix the marriage.
Now, both are happy– they meet again– this time he manages to get her in a lonely beautiful place– he touches her– she feels a spark that goes to the bottom of her heart– breath becomes difficult– at the same time he feels that it is almost like touching the heaven– each and every cell in his body recognizes her– suddenly she says “No”– silence for a while– after, they plan the arrangements of marriage– during night they have a lengthy chat– it becomes regular– he feels blessed– his desires are coming true– these days, thinking of her, he is unable to sleep– he dreams of having her very close to him and feels that her physical appearance captivates his excitements– this time he believes, thinking all these cannot be wrong– he expresses these things to her– she replies “I am for you, but wait up to marriage”– he is on top of the world– he is getting married soon– people recognize him very active and happy nowadays…
(Up to this, the story is presented in an outlined manner, just for the sake of an easy going effect)
And it is the time to say that after these happenings, I also had to enter into this story. One morning I took a book of Advaitha and went to his house. I started to teach him about its concepts. I tried very hard to convince him that his body is a feel and her body is also a feel. Oh! Can you guess what happened there? Now you may say “It was cruelty” or you may say “Let him enjoy his life, his situation is different, leave him”
Yes. He had been trying to win her mind for years. Somehow she accepted. All these times he enjoyed his desires for her. He enjoyed her independent physical existence. Now it is the time of his marriage. He is in a thrill of having a life with her. He enjoyed his desires in the past and he enjoys his desires is the present. He loved the duality of himself and his lover. This duality concept became the truth for him. Now he rejects Advaitha. And if he tries for it later, then also he will not understand it. He is living in the world of duality. The love story ends here.
My juniors are angry with me. They ask me “Do you believe all friendships lead to love?”..No. I do not mean it. Actually true friendships are more. Please consider the above story as a rare one. My little brothers are also very angry. They ask “What kind of a love story is it?” Here I understand you brothers. You are superb. You have enough capacity to disclose your love at the very same moment you feel it. As I said before, consider it as a rare story and I explained it intentionally. I will say the reason soon. Now I have a request to my respected teachers. Forgive me for adding a cliche love story in the topic of Advaitha. But I hope you all understand my intention. I believe, it will be good if I am able to address all the emotions felt by ordinary human beings like myself. And I have heard that while having a debate with Mandanamishra, even the great guru Sankaracharya had to answer for his wife’s arguments about romance.
Ok. Let’s go back to Advaitha. Now you say, what mistake I did to that lover. One friend told me not to talk about Advaitha before lovers because they would not understand it. Another friend told me that he could not understand it, because it was the time of his marriage. Yes I agreed. Later I tried to convince the logic of Advaitha to some other people, but there also I failed. A few people could understand it and they are improving. But majority cannot. I am saying the truth. Majority cannot understand it. Why?.. Because they are also lovers. Instead of a girl they love something else. They desire for achieving it. And it is the time of their marriage also. I mean, they expect to get their desired object soon. A farmer is sowing seeds in the field; at the same time he is sowing the desire of harvest in his mind. He is caring the sprouts and watering the plants. At the same time his desires are also being cared and watered. Actually his desires grow faster than the plants. He is expecting his marriage soon, I mean the harvest soon. All are lovers and all are expecting their marriage. I narrated the love story in detail just to say that each and everyone is moving through the same story. Actually that was not a love story. That was a story of desires. More correctly, that was a story of actions based on desires.
The desires are there in everyone, but the object of desire may vary. It may be wealth, harvest, fame, friends, lovers, job, marriage, family, cars, house, etc. Here, I don’t say that you should give up your job, wealth, wife, children, house, etc for Advaitha. And I don’t say that you should not try for any of these. But I am saying that you should give up the desires in your mind. You can have the same normal life, but you should give up your desires at any cost. It is the true enemy in the path of spiritual realization. Now you may argue that the desires are so powerful that it can show you even the heaven. But I wish to say, it is equally powerful that it can show you the hell also.
Here I shall share some questions, people generally ask. “How can I live a life without desires?” “If desires are not there, what would be the driving force of my life?” “Will the policy of no desires also become another desire?” “Is it ok to have only spiritual desires?” “By abstaining from all desires, should I give up my ordinary life to understand Advaitha?” “If the desire management based on logical thinking doesn’t work for me, is there any other possible method that can help me in spirituality?” “I find the logical reasoning quite boring and ineffective– can you suggest some other strategies that lead to Advaithic knowledge?”
Yes– there are methods by which you can effortlessly achieve the spiritual goal without tiresome contemplations– there are methods by which you can effectively tackle the desires that obstruct you. Now I feel it is the right time to shift the Advaitha teaching from logical reasoning to practical life. I mean, the concept of Advaitha is ready to migrate from your brain to your heart. Your heart– a place where all your emotions reside– your love, your sympathy, your hope, your sorrows, your anger, your jealousy, your anxiety and everything that truly touches you. In ancient stories and pictures, the Advaithic knowledge is represented as a lotus flower. Which place do you think the beautiful lotus flower select to reside, your brain or your heart?..Of course your heart. It cannot find a more beautiful place than your heart even in this total universe. It is not a poetic sentence. The great teacher Ramana Maharshi argues that the centre of consciousness resides in the heart, not in the brain. And Advaitha says that the centre of consciousness is nothing but the centre of this total universe. I shall say you an interesting thing. Brain always sets out for a journey in search of the truth. But the heart purifies itself for the truth to come and reside in. Let us trust the heart.. it is the time.. move on…