Spiritual Achievements To Keep The Self-Pure

Published: 01.06.2009
Updated: 01.06.2009

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White Drums


 

The ego and feeling go together, it is the ego, which feels. Our attitude towards the world is often coloured by our feelings.

A recluse once came to a certain kingdom. Thousands of people began to visit him. The king heard of all this and became eager to see the recluse. He paid a visit to him and invited him to his palace. The recluse agreed and put up with the king. But his stay in the palace became so long that the king began to wonder what to do with him. The recluse did not show any inclination to leave the palace. One day the king invited him for a walk. They proceeded towards the jungle far away from the palace. After a long stroll the king expressed a desire to return to the palace, but the recluse decided to retire into the forest. The king wondered how the comforts of the palace had suddenly ceased to attract the recluse. When questioned by the king the latter replied that the forest was as good for him as the palace. It was true, he said, that he had lived in the palace for quite some time, but the comforts of the palace had never captured his imagination. On the other hand the king's imagination had been captured by the luxury the palace had provided and that is why he could never think of relinquishing them. The recluse had lived in the world of his self even while he had been in the palace. That is why he did not make any distinction between the palace and the forest.

Gautama asked Mahavira if there was no difference between an emperor and a moth. The latter replied that there was none, for both were governed by their desires and self interests. The more does our attitude become governed by feeling, the more do we become attached to the world. A mind overpowered by feeling spares the ego. On the other hand a mind not coloured by feeling would not be attached to wealth and power. It is feeling, which brings about attachment.

There are two currents flowing in the self of man, the current of feeling and the current of knowledge. We should be careful not to allow the two to be mixed together. Sadhana and self-knowledge consist in keeping consciousness pure. Consciousness is a light and it should be kept shining. Feeling operates in its own gravitational field and attracts knowledge towards itself. The result is that the knowing self assumes an extrovert posture. It becomes alloyed with feeling and loses the purity of its lustre. In such a state knowledge assumes the position of a space traveller who when he is out of the gravitational field of the earth feels weightless but again feels weight when he re-enters it. In space he does not have the sense of time, but once he returns to the gravitational field of the earth becomes more time-conscious. Feeling contaminates knowledge and consciousness. Sadhana consists in the purity of the soul and consciousness, in its freedom from the effects of feeling, passions, desires, greed, deceit, and pride.

We should keep two things in mind when we engage ourselves in Sadhana. The first is the necessity to keep our knowledge and consciousness pure and unalloyed with feeling. Such knowledge is joy. The second is that consciousness should not be allowed to become eclipsed by passions. Once passions begin to cast their shadow on consciousness, it loses its pristine purity. The ego gets the upper hand in such a situation. Feelings and passions create all sorts of problems for us. They produce fear, avarice, desires, and all kinds of mental reservations. We should make a distinction between consciousness, which is pure and consciousness, which is overcast with passions. The practitioner has to be extremely self-watchful. Spiritual achievements are the products of his effort and exertion to keep the self-pure.

Sources
White Drums - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Consciousness
  2. Deceit
  3. Fear
  4. Gautama
  5. Greed
  6. Lalit Garg
  7. Mahavira
  8. Pride
  9. Sadhana
  10. Soul
  11. Space
  12. White Drums
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