I would like to write about my spiritual journey – such as it is – that I am engaged in right now.
I have decided to shift from Buddhist to Hindu spiritual practices. The reasons for my doing so are as under:
- The first reason is that I was finding the Buddhist methods difficult because I am of an intellectual bent of mind. Most of the time during the day I am lost in my thoughts. Practicing mindfulness or awareness was something that I was finding difficult given this mental attribute of mine. I have decided to switch over to a meditation practice that I learnt from Paul Brunton’s books. This technique is based on the teachings of the Hindu sage, Ramana Maharshi. It makes full use of the intellect during the initial stages of the practice. I am finding this much easier and experiencing peace in my meditation sessions.
- The second reason is that I can combine this practice with my reading of the Bhagavad Gita which I am engaged in right now.
- I can with an easy conscience believe in and pray to God. Buddhism has an agnostic approach to God and does not stress prayer.
- I am also combining meditation with Karma Yoga and working online to share whatever knowledge I have through answers to questions on quora.com
But to get to the topic of this article – practicing the Bhagavad Gita. There is one concept that I came across today in my reading. The shloka goes like this:
When you are free of the ego sense of separateness (ahamkara), your discerning intelligence (buddhi) is no longer tainted. Though it may appear that you slay your enemies, in fact you are not the doer and you are not bound by those actions (karma).
This shloka makes the following points
- The ego sense of separateness (ahamkara) is an illusion and a source of suffering.
- Your perception that you are the doer is illusory. In reality all is one and your sense of a separate self is similar to a wave in the ocean thinking itself separate from the other waves and from the ocean itself.
When you are free of ahamkara you act but you not only think of yourself but you also experience yourself as the agent and not an independent doer.
The wave in the ocean – with its illusion of a separate self – may think that it is the doer as it rises or falls but in reality, it is only the action (or will) of the ocean that manifests itself through the wave. I think I would do well to remind myself of this concept as I go through the day in my everyday life.
None of this implies that we are free of the law of Karma right now. When you are free of ahamkara you may very well be free of Karma because you are no longer identified with yourself as a wave. You will then experience your oneness with the Divine and all of existence. But until that time comes we need to live and act keeping in mind the law of Karma and be responsible in choosing our actions.
But as far as (ultimate) reality is concerned we are only agents and the Universe (or the Divine) is acting through us.
I’ll end here. Please explore this site for more articles on Spirituality, Self Help and Politics. Please comment on the articles if you liked them or even if you didn’t. Feedback from my readers keeps me going.