Points to Ponder from this episode:
• Giving wealth is easy. Giving (up) ego is difficult.
Giving up grosser things in life is comparatively easier. Try giving up subtler things…things that you are mentally attached to. Try giving up your favourite food, or favourite TV serial, or any of your favourite things? It’s difficult. More difficult is giving up our ego. What does ‘giving up our ego’ mean?
When we give away wealth (both physically & mentally), we will not be bothered what happens to it after we give it away. So, giving away ego means, we will not be affected by others’ behavior to us and it does not hurt our ego, for our ego is gone…it is no longer ours! Once you don’t own something, you become fearless…you don’t have the fear of anyone robbing you or your losing the thing in any way. The moment you become fearless, you become happy.
But it is not so easy. We identify ourselves with our ego and we mistake ourselves to be our ego. Giving up ego would be giving up our own identity, which might look scary. But the wise ones say, when the salt-doll jumps into the ocean, it loses its identity of being the small limited salt-doll only to become one with the vast ocean…to become the ocean itself!
When we give up our small limited ego, we become the One Supreme Self that manifests itself in different forms. Giving up our individuality – our ego – is not easy, but it is worth striving for!
• What you think you are, you are not. What appears as you, you are not. Try to identify yourself…your Self.
In the daily course of our life, even if we be on a spiritual path, we mostly identify ourselves with our Body, Mind, Intellect, Ego, etc. When the body is sick, it appears that ‘we’ are sick. When the Mind is disturbed, we think ‘we’ are disturbed. When the Intellect is enjoying contemplation, we think ‘we’ are enjoying. And when the Ego is satisfied or hurt, we feel that ‘we’ are happy or sad. When we say, we have a Body, Mind, Intellect and Ego, then We are the Subject and BMIE are our objects. If the objects are disturbed, the Subject is not disturbed. When my watch is broken, I myself am not broken. When feel disturbed when our BMIE are disturbed only because as those points we identify ourselves to be the BMI or E.
This we have to keep in mind and remind ourselves at all such junctures that We are not BMIE, rather, We are the Awareness, the Subject, that becomes Aware of all the changes happenings in the world outside – here ‘outside’ would also include the world of objects and the BMIE. We have to keep trying to identify our true Self, our true Identity.
• Mind can always find reasons to convince you.
Even when Kotikarna did a good deed of returning back the ring, Kartyayani doubted his deed. This doubting condition is the nature of the Mind. It will assume the things from what it sees and then slowly and steadily convince us that the assumption is correct. One has to be very alert about one’s own Mind.
Mind you, Mind your own Mind!
• Kotikarna, after taking up Sanyasa, says, “My earlier body had a big house. This body has the whole world as its house. Then I was trying to win the world. Now, I’m trying to win over myself.”
Om Aniketaaya Namah: Salutations to the One who has no abode
This is an attribute among the 108 in Chinmaya Ashtottaram.
After living in a house/place for some time, there comes a sense of attachment to the house/place…a sense of comfort, a sense of belongingness, when we feel ‘this is where I belong’, ‘this is where my family lives’, ‘this is where I have to come back after I go out’. The longer we stay out of our home, the desire or longing to come back becomes stronger. But for the Realised Masters, who have left their homes, rather, who have accepted the whole world as their home, for them, wherever they are present, that itself becomes their home. These Masters are not attached to any particular abode, they don’t feel a sense of belonging to any particular place, their level of happiness is not fluctuated even when they are out of their comfort zones; it is them, they alone are Ones who are truly free.
We try to win in different situations in our lives…win competitions, win jobs, earn fame…everything is to win the world outside. But what are the things that we can win outside? Can we win everything? Alexander tried conquering the world. The British Empire became vast, but couldn’t last. We cannot win everything in the world outside. But if we are able to win our Self, it is as good as we have won the world. Because, once we have won our Self, we lose our own identity, our ego. And then the outside world cannot win over us.
Swami Swaroopananda says in his small booklet ‘Managing the Manager’, ‘who’s the manager?’…the manager is our Mind who manages our lives. One of the definitions of Management is ‘the art of getting things done through other people’. However, only a manager who has learnt the art of managing himself – his anger, his thoughts, his emotions, his feelings – only he can be successful always.
The most important thing is – winning over ourselves!
• Moksha is Param Purushartha, it is your right. Liberation from all bondages is our right.
‘Freedom is our birth right’, cried Lokmanya Tilak. Driving away alien forces and breaking the bondages they enslave on us is a difficult task. But more difficult is the bondages that we get ourselves into. Liberating ourselves from all bondages and attachments is Moksha, the Total Freedom, our Ultimate Goal. This does not mean leaving everything and retiring into the forests or Himalayan caves. De-attaching ourselves from everything ‘mentally’ is what sets us free. We may enjoy everything in life keeping in mind that ‘Even This Will Pass Away’. As long as it is there, we may enjoy it. But the moment something is gone, we should not be shattered, depressed or dejected. If we realize, not intellectually accept but realize, that everything in this world is subject to change, we will not get attached to it.
While living amidst all comforts one can be liberated if he is able to mentally detach from all his possessions and relations.
• You, by nature, are flawless. That is why you try to bring in perfection in all your work. Because Perfection itself is your nature. By nature you are that Pure Self. You, by nature, are Limitless. That is why you try to scale up the high mountains, wish to fly, break all barriers and go as far as possible and explore the universe…it’s all because, that’s your true nature – Limitless!
How true! Why do we (humans) feel the need to know more, experience more, explore more, discover more….why? Why does every human feel the need to break all limitations? Because, freedom is his true nature, it is the nature of his Self. The Self is Limitless, All Pure & Perfect. It is for that reason that we look for perfection always, we wish to break all records by creating another record, and then again break it. Man saw the birds and wanted to fly. He didn’t want to feel himself inferior even to birds or fishes. He wanted to outbeat them all, and he did. All because of his true nature which is unknown to him but he can’t help but act only according to his real nature – Pure, Perfect and Limitless.
• What is it that is more valuable than everything else?
Every person in this world is only to eke out happiness out of this world. Whatever be their ways, whatever be their profession, every action is aimed towards happiness. It can be happiness to the Body, to the Mind, to the Intellect or to the Ego, but happiness it is that one seeks. And this happiness that we seek outside, the Rishis say, is our true nature, it’s there inside us, or rather, Happiness is Us. One can become happy at all points of time when one gets Liberated from all bondages, when he is totally free. That is Moksha. And what indeed, can be more valuable than this?