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The Art of Living in Solitariness

Published: 08.10.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Prekshadhyana is the knowledge of self. Those who do not know themselves, cannot know others well.
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 misconception in the field of western psychology, that one who is self-centred, turns out to be selfish. Spirituality or the goal of self-realisation is perceived as creating self-engrossed and selfish people who vitiate the character of society. Self-realisation may mean self-engrossment but a self-engrossed person cannot be selfish; these are two different things. A selfish person does not know his inner self.

There is an inverse relation between selfishness and self-realisation. The higher the degree of self-realisation, the lesser the selfishness. A self-realised person cannot nourish any selfish motives. A selfish man remains away from his inner self and believes only in amassing wealth. He wants to live with the mob, where-as 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 and the other who prefers living with the mob. Those who don't know themselves, cannot enjoy the mystery of solitude 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 in living with others, and the only solution is a life of solitariness. A self-realised person is one who internally enjoys solitude even though he might be with others externally. A selfish person is one who is internally with the mob and externally he is solitary and wants everything for himself alone.

Once selfishness is given up, there will be no impurity or dishonesty. A selfish man never cares for others whereas the one who has nurtured a solitary state in his being has empathy and compassion. In the wake of his immense sympathy with all, he thinks that everybody carries the potential for 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 being.

A poet, author or a litterateur who wishes to create works of high quality will seek out a solitary place, free from commotion and the mobs, where he can contemplate upon creative thoughts with a calm mind. Those who cherish the solitary state in their being will feel solitariness everywhere in the cosmos. There remain no more confused thoughts or chaos. This solitary state is Ishwara.

The first and also the most important objective of dharma is to impart the knowledge of solitariness. How to create solitariness in our being? Sometimes, when we sit, all alone, then too we experience a rush of memories and daydreams, flowing like the waters of a stream. We have a tremendous rush of thoughts - amidst all these thoughts, if anyone manages to achieve solitariness in his being, then he is most fortunate and blessed.

That person alone can have solitariness who has tried to know his inner self. Knowing the inner self means: ‘‘I am not the body, not the imagination, not memories and not thoughts. I am the inner self, the being and soul which is separate from imagination, memories and thoughts''.

The inner self can never be identified with imagination, memories and thoughts.


Times Of India 18.06.2002

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