Truth Of Life: [1.3] Ishwara - 03 - Am I Ishwara?

Published: 23.05.2008
Updated: 02.07.2015

The Art & Science Of Living

Chapter 1. 

Ishwara: Friendliness


Am I Ishwara?

[Practising of solitariness within by the virtue of Prekshadhyana, i e., merely seeing and witnessing thoughts and eventually transcending thoughts, qualifies one to realise Ishwara or become an Ishwara.]

The gist of Prekshadhyana is the knowledge of Self, to know thyself. Some people live only at the mundane level and do not know their own Self. Those, who do not know themselves, cannot know others well. The root centre of our knowledge is the knowledge of Self. Only those who know themselves can know others realistically.

Self-realisation and Ishwara are not dual entities. In fact, one who is Ishwara, is Self-realised and the one who is Self-realised is also Ishwara. Both merge together as One. There exists a miscomprehension in the field of Western psychology, 'One who is self-centred, turns out to be selfish." Spirituality or self-realisation is perceived as creating self-engrossed and selfish people who, ultimately vitiate the character of society. This concept has not been properly understood. The meaning of self-realisation may be self-engrossment but a self-engrossed person cannot be selfish. Selfishiness and being self-engrossed are poles apart. A selfish person does not know his inner Self. Today the basic problem is of selfishness because this is the sole cause of all the evils and degeneration of values. Man seeks fulfilment of his home and family alone and not of others. There is an inverse relation between selfishness and en-realisation. The more the Self-realisation, the lesser the selfishness. A self-realised person cannot nourish any selfish motives in him.

A selfish man remains away from his inner Self and indulges in violence, lies, thefts, tortures, etc. He believes only in amassing wealth. He indulges in sin and does everything for his vested interests, irrespective of its implications, whether morally right or wrong. This is because he wants to live with the mob, whereas, a self realised person knows the art of living in solitariness.

Basically there are two kinds of people, the one who knows how to live in solitariness, the other who prefers living with the mob.

Those, who don't know themselves, cannot enjoy the mystery of solitariness and so remain away from their inner Self and go along with the mob. There are actually two kinds of life worth knowing, one is solitary life and the other is living in company.

The problem of the day is living with others, and the only solution is a life of solitariness. A Self-realised person is one who internally enjoys solitariness while externally he is with others. A selfish person is one who is internally with the mob and externally he is solitary and wants everything for himself alone.

A certain man had honeybees. Some of his friends asked him, "What do you get out of lakhs of honeybees?" He replied, "There has been tremendous gain out of my honeybees as my guests have reduced considerably owing to their presence. Isn't this a worthwhile gain?" This is purely a selfish motive as he thinks that nobody should come to him and he alone should be able to enjoy all that he has. But a Self-realised person would never entertain such thoughts. He would look after the maximum welfare of others. He is a perfect altruist and philanthropist. In fact, a selfish man is only inclined to commit all crimes, in order to fulfil his desires to become prosperous. He indulges in exploitation and unethical acts.

It is only selfishness, which is a serious evil. If this is given up, there will be no impurity or dishonesty, because the very genesis of these evils is rooted out. A selfish man never cares for others whereas the one who has nurtured solitariness in his being has empathy and compassion. In the wake of his immense sympathy with all, he thinks that everybody carries the potentiality of Self-realisation. This feeling of egolessness can mature only in a solitary state, never among the mob. Those, who live a crowded life, can never penetrate into the deep recesses of their inner beings.

A poet, author or a litterateur, who wishes to create literature of high quality, will definitely seek a solitary place, free from the mob and commotion, where he can contemplate upon good thoughts with a calm mind. Solitariness is an important need for his best creation to manifest. Those who cherish solitariness in their being will feel solitariness everywhere in the cosmos. There is no more mob, rushing of unwanted thoughts, or chaos for them.

This solitariness is the only Ishwara. To be in solitariness is to be Ishwara. Those, who have learnt to be in solitariness, dissolve themselves in solitariness, are Ishwara, Self-realised, spiritual and religious. The rest are leading a meaningless, burdensome, sorrowful, fruitless and trifling life with the mob.

The first and also the most important objective of Dharma is to impart the knowledge of solitariness. We virtually do not know how to create solitariness in our being. Sometimes, when we manage to sit alone, with nobody around, then too we experience a rush of memories and daydreams floating like a stream. Many thoughts and ideas enter his mind and do not allow the man to be solitary even for a fraction of a moment. We have a tremendous rush of thoughts around us.

Amidst all these thoughts, if anyone manages to have solitariness in his being, then he is the most fortunate and blessed person. That person alone can have solitariness, who has tried to know his inner Self. As a matter of fact, knowing the inner Self means, "I am not the body, not the imaginations, not memories and not thoughts. I am the inner Self, being and the soul which is separate from imagination, memories and thoughts." The inner Self can never be identified with imagination, memories and thoughts.

Thoughts govern me, they forcefully permeate my mind but they are not mine. If one understands this fact then he can protect himself from the mob. Why do these thoughts come in our mind? They exist in our mind due to delusion. As long as there is no awakening, all these thoughts would keep coming to our mind. As soon as we become aware of the inner Self, these thoughts will disappear. It is like this; when the house owner sleeps, the thieves step inside the house, and when the house owner wakes up, they flee. It is a question of awakening. When we awaken ourselves from imagination, memories and thoughts and start perceiving these thoughts, then, the thoughts begin to disappear automatically. Perceiving thoughts is immediately followed by their disappearance. Those who do not perceive them and remain in emptiness, find thoughts wandering in their mind. When the state of awakening weakens, then thoughts start gathering in the mind. The basic question is of awakening. When awakening descends then only has man learnt to live in solitariness. Perhaps, the experience of solitariness is the most difficult experience as compared to the other experiences of life.

Man has the capacity and capability to do most difficult tasks, yet the experience of self-realisation and solitariness is unique in itself. Therefore, this unique experience has been realised by few like Mahavira, Buddha, Jesus, Nanak, Mohammed and Krishna. There have been a few masters who have experienced solitariness. Experience of solitariness is the highest of all bliss and the power of solitariness is the largest power.

Only a fearless person can have solitariness. A scared person can never have solitariness, as he will never like to be solitary. He will always be with somebody, even while asleep. In fact, a frightened man will feel free of fear, anxiety and tension only when he has somebody beside him. If you carefully look around you, you will find almost everyone has a protective object, like a stick, a sword, a gun, etc. with them. Cowards keep arms with them. A powerful, fearless person will never have arms or protection with him all the time. Psychologists say that the root cause of development of arms is the fear-psychosis of humanity.

Mahavira roamed alone in the jungles, stayed in dilapidated houses, with uncultured, uncivilised and savage people without any means of self-defence because he was totally fearless owing to the treasure of profound solitariness in his being.
Once the brother of Mahavira, King Nandi Vardhan said to him, "Brother you remain in meditation standing hours together, these savages of the forest tease and torment you, so kindly allow us to make an arrangement to protect you from these miscreants."

Mahavira replied, "This has neither happened in the past, nor will it happen in the future. A sanctified teacher is not expected to do his sadhana with support from others or consider himself safe under somebody's care. Sanctified masters always do sadhana solely with their own dependence and power, hence do not worry."

This is the concept of Ishwara and self-realisation - that only he can be blessed with solitariness who is fearless. A frightened person can never delve into solitariness as he always remains in the care and shelter of others.
The truth of the practical and mundane life is that not all men can be in solitariness. You might have observed that kings always move along with hundreds of soldiers. Heavy security arrangements are made for our VIP s, where the security force is equipped with heavy arms and ammunitions. In spite of all these encumbrances, only those who dare to remain in solitariness, are qualified to transcend the world and be free from attachment to life and fear of death. The absence of this attachment creates the situation where one can experience solitariness and become fearless. A solitary person is free from tension. An anxious person can never be solitary, as he always carries crowds of worries with him.

Today's world is ridden with tension and anxieties, even a school going child is full of tensions. He is born with tension. Parents nourish tension in the child right from the womb itself. Psychologists say, "Humanity is born neurotic." It is astonishing that even a small child is not free from tension; it has mental as well as emotional tensions.

There is a story about a person who went to America and lodged in a house. He was seated like a guest with people around him. A 10 or 12 year-old boy came and started misbehaving with his parents. When his father asked him not to do so, the child threatened to shoot his father. The culture and civilisation has decayed to this extent - that a mere child of 10-12 years has intense tension and has grown so aggressive that he can even dare to shoot his own father.

Wherever there is extreme tension, there is likely to be large-scale crime, murder and suicide, because a tension-free person will never nurture these thoughts. Tension is the genesis of all crimes. Only a person living in solitude will be free from worries and tensions. The one who entertains many can never be solitary. There is no certainty of even tomorrow and he goes on worrying for the next generations. This is the irony of humanity. Solitude is worriless.

There was a Sufi saint named Juneja in Baghdad. Once he wandered in the forest and met a fakir who was weeping bitterly. The saint took pity and asked, "Why are you weeping?" The fakir said, "Actually I went to see Ishwara, but so far I have not seen him." The saint said, "You will not be able to get Ishwara merely by weeping, you better practise sadhana. I shall show you the path." As the fakir got ready to return, Saint Juneja said, "I am also going. If you have any problem in the future then come back to me in Baghdad and I shall solve it." The fakir said, "I need not come to you, why should I come to you as I do not have any worries? I have strong faith and conviction that whenever I want to know something, Ishwara himself will send someone to me." He then further asked, "Did I call you today? Obviously you came on your own to resolve my problem. Similarly, if any problem crops up in the future then surely someone will come to my rescue and solve my problem. I need not visit you. The fellow who is self-dependent and self-realised is free from mental tension." Of course he is in solitude.

Though it is difficult to be solitary, yet solitude is the panacea for many grave problems. There is eternal comfort and bliss when there is no existence of worry, fear and tension. In fact, negative emotions like fear and worry swallow our bliss and comfort. One may amass huge amounts of wealth, but as soon as fear sets in, happiness is lost and everything is over. In spite of having all the means of comfort and bliss, if you have tension, everything gets shattered and lost. Every man should analyse the fear, tension and worries in his life.

Do you see anyone who is free from fear and tension? If there is such a person, then he is actually in the form of Ishwara, an ideal to others. A fearless and tension-free life can be lived only by the person who has learnt the art of solitariness.

Only he who is liberated and detached can be solitary. A detached person uses material objects but he is not bound by them. Material objects have the tendency to bind men, and almost all people are bound by material objects. To use the material is one thing, to be bound and become a slave to it, is an entirely different thing.

Nowadays a new culture has been evolved by a few thinkers. That culture is known as the "throwaway culture". Much thinking has been done on this and literature on it has been developed. It means use it and throw it away. This is a new culture emerging and the culture of renouncing unnecessary assets is very old and ancient. How much will you pile up or hoard, use it and throw it away. The tendency to accumulate binds man. Since man does not know how to be free, unattached and independent, consequently he cannot know how to be solitary. Only those who have learnt to live in solitariness enjoy the highest bliss.

The most important doctrine of spirituality is to be solitary. One is born solitary and has to die alone, life between death and birth is spent living in society. Man forgets truth due to the presence of people in his mind and shatters the state of his solitariness as he even forgets that he was born solitary.

It is a matter of great concern that society inculcates such deep delusion in man that the realisation of solitariness, the greatest truth of life, is lost and shattered. If Dharma has any solution then that is the realisation of solitariness and oneness. This realisation, even while living in society, is the biggest achievement.

Mahavira preached leading an honest and truthful life. There are 12 types of contemplations. These contemplations are meant to break the vicious circle of delusion. Whenever man gets deluded, the practice of contemplation shatters and wipes out this delusion. People, who do not practise contemplation, strengthen delusion, which leads them away from the truth. There is one kind of contemplation called the awareness of solitariness among these twelve contemplations. The solitary person has no belief in 'mine'-ness.

We should not limit ourselves to social life but try to live a truthful and realistic life also. One who only leads a social life, creates headaches and tensions for himself and for others. One who leads a social as well as a realistic life, is creative, constructive and a successful man in the world. We should strive to live a balanced life, for without a social life we cannot fulfil our material, bodily needs, and without a realistic life we cannot satisfy our spiritual needs.

If our life becomes devoid of spirituality then this social life goes on creating further headaches daily. The important need of the hour is to lead a spiritual-social life (i.e., leading a social and spiritual life). A spiritual-social life is the only means of having a tension free and peaceful life. Those who have a family life with limited requirements, do nothing wrong. It is necessary for a man to have family life but to consider the family as the ultimate truth, or the only haven is to be grossly wrong and full of delusion. It is guaranteed that one day he will experience and accept the harsh reality that a family is not the ultimate truth. It is meant only as a convenience in life and the ultimate reality is that "I am solitary." Such a man will never get duped or deceived. Of course, we witness a great number of incidents like someone being deceived by his own kith and kin. As a matter of fact, nobody deceives anyone, you have been deceived only by yourselves, you got yourselves duped because you nourished a blatant lie and rejected the reality outright. If you would have accepted and regarded the truth, then this surely would never have happened. You should know the world is transitory. As long as interests do not differ, everybody is 'mine' and as soon as interests differ, then nobody is 'mine' not even my brother, sister, mother, father, etc.

In a nutshell, then nobody belongs to anybody. This conflict and difference in interests crushes all relations. You are not deceived by any person in particular, in fact, your own wrongly accepted belief has deceived you. If this realisation steers you then you will not suffer anymore as you have already known and lived the impermanence and futility of family life, relations, etc., and now you no more consider them the ultimate reality of life.

A gentleman told me," My father has thrown me out of his house and he didn't give me anything." It's not a new thing. Somebody says, "His mother threw him out of the house as she doesn't like him at all." This is the nature of the world. These are normal and natural occurrences in the world, when this is explained to the victim, he understands. Once he was getting perturbed and entangled, but now he is groomed and relieved as this is quite natural in mundane life. It is not a new happening, rather history is replete with such instances, so why worry? This is the truth, and this reality contains the solution.

If we qualify to realise solitariness by Prekshadhyana then Ishwara is not far away from us. As long as we don't qualify to have solitariness till then Ishwara will never be near us and we can never think of realising Him.

Three people sat under a banyan tree. It was time for prayer, so they started discussing what to ask for in that day's prayer. One of them proposed asking for power from Ishwara, since they were in a jungle, and they required strength. Another person said, "We already have strength in our body, we are not weak, so we should ask for wisdom because it is the highest power. Those who have wisdom have strength too. If someone has only physical power, without the intellect what will he do, so let's ask for intellect." Then the third person intervened saying, "As long as one has no faith, all else are trifles, so let us ask for faith." Then there was a reaction from the banyan tree, "Why the controversy and dispute? First become deserving, then desire."

Therefore, we have to first blend solitariness into our being. In spite of physically existing in the mob, amid crores of people, we should never be without solitariness, rather be with it spontaneously and automatically. If one achieves this state of mind then the practice of Prekshadhyana has been highly fruitful to him.

The declaration, "I am Ishwara", can be a miscomprehension and it can be a reality too. Those who simply quote from texts or repeat a lesson after reading it harbour a misconception because it has not cropped up from their being, so it will only strengthen their ego, nothing else. But, if someone actually realises his Self or Ishwara by the practice of sadhana then the declaration, "I am Brahman, I am Ishwara" grows out of the innermost core of his consciousness because he has practised, lived and breathed with it. It is the very part of his being. Sheer reiteration of the words will only create confusion and nourish his ego. Experiencing realisation is the only reality.

Edited by Muni Dulharaj
Copyright by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India ©2001
Published by Sterling Publishers Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi, India
Translated by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Brahman
  3. Buddha
  4. Consciousness
  5. Contemplation
  6. Dharma
  7. Fear
  8. Gun
  9. Krishna
  10. Mahavira
  11. Meditation
  12. Prekshadhyana
  13. Sadhana
  14. Science
  15. Science Of Living
  16. Soul
  17. Truth Of Life
  18. Violence
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