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COMPASSION AND FORGIVENESS

Swami Chidananda

Continued....

Be clear about the fundamentals. Be clear about the basic truths and stay aware. Examine; you find this examining is the way for more and more clear seeing. In other words.

Seeing is the way to seeing, Loving is the way to love, understanding is the way to understanding, but the truth is just seeing.

Therefore very many wise people are not interested in giving lectures or writing books too. You know why? Because they saw that the truth is a matter of seeing and verbalizing to a great extent is an entertainment and to a little extent it might set people on right direction. Many felt that talking about Truth, talking about God does more injustice than justice because people are likely to grab a concept, an image, a symbol, and then on spiritual symbol raise a new wall. My book and your book; my mantra and your mantra; my method and your method. So rather than getting into a genuine practice of whatever method there is, we get quite agitated. Our first priority many a times becomes having other member of the family also follow my method and together we will go deep, first let us have uniformity. There is much fight over symbols too in this world of ours.

 So it is a long debate whether religion has divided people or brought people together. We find both are happening. This religion is such a powerful force. Spirituality is such a powerful thing. As millions and millions shed tears, become emotional, form new unions, form new associations and are set for their own uplift and liberation of the world and what not. Many a time it becomes a snow ball effect. Hundreds join, 500 join and then you and I join, not because we understood anything but we like that whole movement. All are joining, I have never seen such a thing, I am in for it. But what is it about? It is ‘the thing’ now and I am also joining. Amazing, that person talks and everyone is after him. Then you are enjoying joining, you don’t know what it is about. You may even say I am going to give my life for this.  But you don’t know the content. From that angle of view, one definitely wonders what is all religion about? But on the other side, a few who go and examine the actual teaching of great masters and find that they are so true. So this is a long debate.

True spirituality flowers in the individual’s heart.

 In the heart of you and me. I would dare say, thinking about this other topic is waste of time.  Let us live our life, where we are. Our joy, our family, our relationships, our conflicts, everyone of us has enough of it. Swami Chinmayananda said, ‘problems in life are supplied free of cost.’  But your job is to try to solve the problems.

 So everyone of us has intriguing conflict, peculiar dilemma day after day we are handling it.

In  this handling my conflict, typically what I do is I operate through the self judgment.

 I am so and so and not one sentence, in a split second it is as though a thousand sentences about who I am rise and the picture of mine, self image is built. And standing on the platform of self image I am trying to solve the problems. But we say this self image is the problem. This finger is the problem, he is touching everywhere with the finger with the broken bone. We do not doubt the finger. In the same way we do not doubt that we could be, our own psychological structure about who we are could be the central issue. In one of the line of ‘saddarshanam’ Ramana Maharshiji says, the most wonderful way of being is, being without the self that is this self image.

 Imagine you are going for a morning walk and I bump on to you and ask, ‘how are you this morning? Are you still carrying that hurt of the other day? You look at me, ‘what hurt?’ you don’t even remember and I say, ‘that’s fine, keep it up’. I go my way and you go your way. All you see is there were some wonderful butterflies that morning. It will be heaven on earth if we have empty mind. Hardly anyone has this empty mind.

The empty mind doesn’t have the plan to forgive, doesn’t have the plan to be compassionate.

 Empty in what sense?  Empty of the ‘I’. Ramana Maharshiji has an insight there. He says, ‘why do you waste time on long discussions on reality and falsehood, consciousness and inert insentient entity; nature of happiness and causes of sorrow; all philosophizing, all this is a wasteful talk.

Stay in quiet attention and let thoughts behave themselves. You are not disciplining them. If you are aware, you stay in Attention. In that state of Attention thoughts behave themselves.

 Stay in Attention, free of thought created ego or self. Where the world of joy and sorrow, world of birth and death doesn’t exist. This is actually what everyone denies but no one is going for it, everyone is side-tracted, trapped in something else.

 That state, a way of pure being, BE. It is the mind which goes to different states but be are Aware and Awareness is not a state that is the result of some process.  Awareness is your nature.  You and I are, I am and I am aware, is a truth.

 

 As a child ‘you are’ and as an old man also ‘you are’ it is so natural. As a child you take sugar in your mouth it is sweet, as an old man also the sugar in your mouth will feel sweet. This is so natural to you. But as a child you look at a book with technical stuff, you may not get head or tail of it, but as an adult you may understand it. These are acquired, then you may forget also. But we are talking of, not even tongue’s taste as we may lose tongue’s taste when we have fever but Awareness just cannot go. It’s contradiction for anyone to say, ‘from early morning till now I am not being aware at all’ ‘I notice that I am not aware’ this is a contradiction. It is like as we have famous example in Indian logic system: vadato vyaaghaata some one goes up the stage and says, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like you to know that I am dumb!’ there is contradiction in the same way for anyone to say, ‘I am not aware’.

 Is there a certain truth about this? Are you not aware? Can you be that Awareness and not descend to the cell of thoughts and watch things from that medium of thoughts, watch that cell also? Can we be aware of mind created prison/cell without a comment.

Silence is, not the dull silence, watchful silence, vigilant silence is the ultimate saadhanaa  spiritual practice, if we call it a practice.

Alert silence is the highest spiritual practice.  But we are so fond of reacting, responding, saying something asked or not asked.

 We are caught in thought patterns. Are we using thoughts or are thoughts driving us? Suppose a thought rises, does it become a compulsion? Life is constantly coming in contact with various relationships. In all these relationships a heightened awareness makes thoughts subservient, in lack of awareness, thoughts get an upper hand over you. You could be very agitated and you could go berserk also.

So this ‘I’ thought aham vrtti the self image is the crux of the whole problem.

 Let us now touch upon the oneness that comes about in the elimination of the self image. You can never plan to eliminate your ego. By living alertly, by being observant, by noticing the way, the ego/self operates with no agenda, with no fragmented or compartmentalized or particularized plan. For example, Monday I shall reduce my anger; Tuesday I shall reduce my wave of jealousy, so on and so forth. This compartmentalization can be very valid in other operations like studies because there is information, skills etc. but here in as much as this jealousy, this anger, this revengefulness, this inability to come to terms with situation are all extremely interrelated and we don’t know the pattern in which they emerge. Suppose Tuesday I want to settle jealousy but I have lot of happiness, I am extremely happy but what to do? Because this is extremely complex.

The ways of the self are a million time more complex than even the super computers.  The best is not to have an agenda and be Aware.

 In  staying Aware, Alert, not to think about will I be able to stay alert? This is terrible! Doesn’t matter even a minute here and a minute there. One need not strain oneself in the name of Awareness. A minute here and a minute there- 2 minutes; especially when there is some fear, just say, ‘before I decide to do anything, let me notice what is happening to me?’ And then of course you have to take decision. And in watching, in moments of fear or in moments of hurt, in moments of sorrow, things happen on their own.

 In conclusion So if self image disappears then the person whom I need to forgive is no more a psychological construction in me. The actual person may be in front of me or he may be far away but he is no more a figure putting its pressure on my mind.

 The rubber surface of my mind does not have this heavy weight of someone to be forgiven causing a curvature there. The psychological plane is like a rubber surface, an elastic plane and my self image is like one weight, a mass and an image of that person far away and this other person near to me. The man far away I cannot forgive but man near to me ---O how I wish he and I were together? And all these created dip.

 Now suppose images disappear that is when you have on one hand very objective picture of things and on the other, in as much as self image and other images have gone into thin air, you will not perceive a division at all. You will not make an issue of ‘he made that mistake, I did not’ 

I, he, she…when there is no pressure of he/she/I, when there is no pressure of ‘who did that?’ here someone whom I like does it, it may be good.  But if someone whom I don’t like does it, it is bad. Likes and dislikes, again a memory phenomenon.

So images go, likes and dislikes go, in that unbelievably, the wonder of wonders is the very division of you and me goes away.  And then if my own teeth bite my tongue, there is pain but I would not smash my teeth, I would not punish.  Though there is no denying that this should not happen again.

 In the same way when there is no division of you and me, there is true love.

 The whole humanity is appreciated as one because of the elimination of the self image. Not because some books edit and we repeated that sentence ten times ‘we are one’. That has limited value. A peace march can bring some peace but the true peace, true freedom, true love, true forgiveness and true compassion is never possible by that ‘outside in’ approach. Because human mind is caught in certain judgment, certain rigidities. The loosening of those rigidities and letting go of thoughts of hatred and ultimately letting go the thoughts of division is what is required and that is where Awareness, not as a concept but as an actuality does the job.

 Master speaks:

“While hundreds of psychological and other methods could be there to bring in us the healthy value of forgiveness and compassion, to go to the crux of the issue we need to see that our mind  repeats certain patterns of thinking, builds images of people with whom we have either anger or revenge and builds and rebuilds images of us who are at receiving end and those people who hurt us.

This image building of those who did injustice to us and we who suffered, sustains a situation where true forgiveness can never take place.

In Attention and in Awareness, in seeing the entirety of these thought structures, there comes about a subsiding of these images, while functional memory remains, subjective memory goes away. There comes about an objective evaluation of things which is rooted in sense

Concluded.