The world of duality emerged from Unity. The world of variety has emerged from Oneness. The five trillion or more cells in our body emerged from the one primordial cell. That one is infinite and the many are finite aspects of the infinite. Every speck in the world of duality, everything in the world of variety and in every one of the trillions of cells in the body is embedded with a seed of Unity, Oneness and the infinite. Thus infinite oneness and unity is in finite, many and variety. Finite, variety and finite comes from infinite, Unity and Oneness. This is the unique embedded relationship of nature whether we realize or not. This journey of duality, variety, cells towards the Unity, Oneness and infinite is the goal of life’s journey. The name that is given to this flow to the destination is spirituality. The channels of this flow are named religion.
Why is there a thirst for bigger and bigger things in our life? Why is that we desire for bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger bank balances? These are our innate expressions of our true self, though mis-directed externally in the wrong direction. While in America we crave for our villages. Why? Since craving for source is in built. Like all waters that started from Ocean form clouds – rains – rivers and final merger into ocean again. Till this happens the waters are restless. They overcome incredible obstacles in this process of reaching home. The biggest and infinite is resident right within us. Unfortunately not realizing this we search all over outside for this. After we get tired, we realize the mistake and begin our inward journey to reach home.
Similarly our very source is Unity, Oneness and Infinite. We are and will be restless till we reach and merge into our source, home. People call this merger by different names, Nirvana, self-realization, moksha, bliss, ananda. While this is the goal of all, all of us without any exception are on this infinite journey to reach home. Each one of us is at different stations on this road to home. Some of us may reach this home in this life, while others may take several lives (re-incarnations) to reach this goal. Nothing will change this, since it is our in-built programmed destiny.
Now the question is how we by our effort (sadhana) hasten this process. When we go against this flow towards Unity, we feel restlessness, pain and suffering. When we are going with the flow we feel happy and at peace. This is the criteria with which we can judge ourselves if we are travelling with or against the flow of life. Obviously we want to be happy, restful without pain and suffering. After checking this out if the indicators show that we are going against the flow towards home (Unity), the following steps will put us back in the right flow or enhance the force of flow towards our destination.
“Yad Bhavam Tat Bhavathi’ declare Upanishads. This essentially means that our thoughts shape our destiny. The creative intelligence that is responsible for creation of this variety in creation is also present within us in a limited format (limited only by our mind). This is called Sankalpa Shakthi. The degree of presence of this Sankalpa Shakthi is directly proportional to the level of transparency or purity of our mind (chitta suddhi).
When we have an attitude of oneness then we feel kinship to the world we live in. We see goodness in all and see a world of harmony and beauty. Thus world is mirror in front of us. We see ourselves in the world. It is our attitude (bhava) that determines our vision and destiny. Initially developing the right attitude is an effort like anything else (swimming, bicycling). However through practice it becomes our second nature, spontaneous, effortless character. This is what Krishna said “abhyasena Kounteya”, in response to Arjuna’s question. By practice one can bring in, learn any new thing.
The first step to correct our direction towards the flow of life or increase force of flow is to develop the attitude of oneness. This is done initially by effort that becomes our second nature (character) through practice. How do we do this is the next question? In all our activities in day to day world we come across situations where in we need to decide on the sides to take. Take the side of Oneness and Unity in all circumstances. Oneness and Unity is the ultimate TRUTH. The apparent differences in creation is only an apparent, contemporary reality caused by Maya (illusion). Behind this apparent variety there is the sutra of oneness, though not seen or perceived initially.
Behind the variety of flowers in the garland, there is the thread (sutra) of Unity. Hang on to this Sutra and practice visualizing and seeing this Unity. Pretty soon after a while one will start experiencing this Unity spontaneously. The yad bhavam tat bhavathi manifests as Unity in our own life. This experience of Oneness and Unity is the real Viswa roopa Darshan, not the Ravi Varma’s drawing, which is symbolic. This means that we are close to the destination.
Trikala Bhadyam Satyam. The one that does not change with time (past, present and future) is Truth. With this definition only one thing remains as Truth, that is the Oneness, Unity or Divinity. But what is the world of duality that we see, touch, feel. This is called contemporary reality (pratibhasika sathyam), just like sun-rise and sun-set. Sun has no rising or setting. But we see that and experience that and state it commonly. This is the contemporary reality, not Truth. Contemporary reality is the world of duality projected (maya) on the screen of Consciousness (Unity). While we enjoy and react to the movie, we should not be deluded to the fact that it is only projection of maya on unity. When we deal with the world of contemporary reality, we should always approach it with the attitude of Oneness and Unity. This is functioning in duality with full awareness of Oneness.
How do we put this into practice in day to day world. In all circumstances and events that life presents to us, we should take the side of Unity. I would use the following criteria. Does it Unite people or divide the people. Take the side of Uniting and Union. This is yoga, which means Union. Follow this principle that is very fundamental and one will be on the right side always. This helps going with the flow of nature towards Unity.
Love is the emotion of creation. Unity, Oneness expressed as emotion is Love. In love two becomes into one. Love unites, Love merges. Love dissolves the separateness. Love dissolves the separating boundaries. Through love we not only feel our own feelings, but we also feel others feelings of anxiety, concerns, joy, pain or happiness. In other words Love connects. Love is the great networking force. Love is expansion while hate is contraction. In order to reach our home of Oneness and Unity, we need to keep expanding.
We should plant a seed of love in our hearts, water it, fertilize it and let it grow. Let it start at home, grow to include friends, society and ultimately to include even our so called enemies. It should be a continuous expansion process. Love is the emotional force of Unity that takes us to the destination faster. When you get feelings of hate towards any one, just stop, think. In that awareness hate disappears. Awareness is the antidote for the disease of Arishadvargas (The six enemies – Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya) caused by ego and karmic baggage.
Ego is mind’s identification with body and gives the false “I” while the true “I” in us is the Atman. We are not the body, not the senses, not the mind, not the intellect. As we go through this negation process (neti, neti – not this, not this), we arrive at the conclusion, I am that I am, the true “I”. This true “I” is ever present even in deep sleep. This true “I” is the real seer, hearer, smeller, feeler, taster not the eyes, ears, nose, skin or the tongue which are just the equipments of this true “I”..
Absence of light is darkness. Absence of knowledge is ignorance. Absence f awareness is branthi (illusion or maya). All the arishadvargas are the off shoots of ego, maya and ignorance. They cannot survive in the presence of awareness. Bring awareness where there is forgetfulness is present. We lead a life of forgetfulness of our true self and identify with body mind complex. We spend the life with the mistaken identity that we are the body, mind and senses which we are not. Awareness is functioning with true identity that we are the Atman and thus connected to totality of creation and to the creator (www – the true World Wide Web). This awareness brings us the attitude of Unity and Oneness. Thus it brings back to the flow of life towards Oneness.
Coin has two sides. The world of duality made up from Unity has two sides. We are a combination of prakriti and purusha. Positive and negative. Electric and magnetic force. Kinetic and potential energy. Ying and yang. Yada and pingala. Thus each one has two sides. The positive side and a negative side. The positive side of humanity unites us all and the negative side separates us all into narrow compartments. Our negative side is responsible for all the problems in the world and the positive side for the harmony and beauty in the world.
Focusing on the positive makes us experience a harmonious, loving, caring beautiful world. We have the capability to create a harmonious world. This cannot happen by trying to change the world which most of try or tried. This is a wasteful effort that leads to disappointment. However this change can be accomplished by changing, transforming ourselves to be positive. When we make our antahkarana (inner senses) positive the whole world follows, because “yad bhavam tat bhavathi is the rule. You become the change that you desire and change happens. Let it begin with me should be the rule. This is the reason Gandhiji’s autobiography is titled “My experiments with truth”. He experimented with himself – not with the world. He transformed and the world followed.
Developing positivity within ourselves is the key. Positivity is the attribute of unity. This attitude of Unity will be reflected in our character. End of education is character. Sign of education is humility (devoid of ego). Fragrance of education is Goodness”. Goodness is the effulgence of Atman. Develop positivity inside. This leads to goodness in our character. Then we will start seeing more and more positivity in others. We will be seeing more and more goodness in others. Then we will be a witness to a good world. Thus we transformed the world through change in our attitude. This is way to connect to the world and this connected world follows you with your intentions and with your transformation.
Normally we serve ourselves and desire others to serve us. We harbor a feeling of entitlement that world is there to serve your needs and gets disappointed that when they do not. This is contraction caused by our ego. This attitude causes disappointments and unhappiness and takes us against the flow of life. The perpetuator is our ego that causes “I”ness and “my”ness. This is self centeredness with the wrong self, the ego.
To correct this we should start focusing on the needs of others like our mothers. Thus we should focus on service. Most people consider service as helping others. This is a mistaken idea. Service while it helps others limitedly, it helps the server immensely. Service expands the server. Server expands beyond his body’s physical limits to include others into their bodies. This barrier for expansion is ego. Best ego breaker is service. We see this expansion in mothers. When the child gets a pin prick the mother feels the pain. In other words, the mother’s body expanded to include the child, hence she feels the pain along with the child.
As we do more and more service, we expand more and more to a point of fully dissolving our ego. This state is called purity (chitta suddhi). In that purity divinity is experienced. This is experience of Unity. Thus service with the right attitude of expansion of self will put us into right flow of life towards its goal and home.
Gratitude is experiencing our presence, where in we experience contribution of the whole towards us the part. We are one cell in the body of the Universe. We get our nourishment from the body (universe) and function for the greater good of the body. Our welfare is linked to welfare of the whole. If any cell feels that it is entitled to have all the nourishment and grows at the cost of other cells and the body, it is called cancer. Hence functioning with attitude of entitlement is cancerous disease and functioning with awareness of the totality of the body (cosmos) is an attitude of gratitude. This attitude of gratitude connects us to the flow of life and takes us to the destination. This attitude brings, reverence, respect, adoration, admiration towards all that contribute to our welfare. This bring awareness to life which is otherwise lived in forgetfulness. Gratitude brings presence to life and connects us to the infinite, the source of us all.
Thus we should function with hands in duality and mind in Unity. We should function with mind in the Himalayas and hands in the world. Said differently the Heart should lead the head, which leads the hands to serve the society. Global thinking local functioning. This is the attitude of Oneness in our thinking that is translated into worldly functioning, that makes us reach the destination faster and safer.