ashutosh maharaj ke bol.
SPEECH BY ASHUTOSH MAHARAJ
It is natural for us as humans to long for peace and happiness. But the kind of living we have become accustomed to, cannot give us equipoise, equanimity and equilibrium in life. We have allowed ourselves to be pre-programmed and pre-conditioned under the impact of various factors. This conditioning and pre-programming is evident from the influence exercised by the family, society and faith we are born into and are brought up with. We need to cultivate a universal outlook and a mindset that sees the same divine chord - the very foundation of unity of God, soul and nature. The narrowness of theological boundaries and confin
es of psychological barriers that have been built around us limit our vision and hinder any potential for a universal outlook.
We tend to get stuck with societal norms we live in and ritualistic meanings that custodians of particular religions impose upon us. Sectarian tendencies are rampant all across the globe. There is mad race for preaching one's religion. While doing so, we error in looking down upon others. This is definitely not what past masters, sages and prophets taught us. Owing to hegemonic and fundamentalist postures of clerics and prelates in almost every religion, we are drifting away from each other as if we do not belong to the same human race but are children of superior and inferior gods and demi-gods. By such indulgence, are we not violating the divine law of oneness?
Cultural differentiation is also emphasized and is projected to show superiority, with a right to rule and govern, and in the process, show disdain for others. Some races do have the right to call themselves civilized but definitely not cultured. Unfortunately, we have already ushered into the world of the 'Great Divide', of 'haves' and 'have nots', whites and blacks, developed and undeveloped. All this has already and will further lead to strife, tensions, violence, terrorism, chaos and unrest, both individually and globally.
We, in our wisdom, often erroneously use the words 'culture' and 'civilization' almost synonymously. This is a serious mistake. By thinking in such a way, we deprive ourselves of the highly sublime difference, which can shake us from inside and pave our way to higher levels of inner purity. Sages and scriptures tell us the difference from a spiritual perspective.
The word 'civilization' is variously used to give expressions of a well-defined political group working collectively, betterment of ways of living, subjugation of nature for satiation of human desires, improved conditions of food, clothing and shelter, etc. Against these parameters, societies consider themselves as civilized and look down upon others who are not so privileged, as barbarians. This mindset develops into belligerent factions who wage wars out of fear, hatred and distress. This leads to mass destruction of men and materials. Technology has made us civilized but not cultured. Is this the aim and purpose of human life?
The word 'culture' in our scriptures refers to inner refinement. It is a state of purity of the head and heart. A good-looking, well-dressed person with name, fame and riches may be civilized but not necessarily cultured. It is spiritual elevation, complete alignment with our inner core, which makes a man cultured. It is a mental state of seeing Oneness of all. A truly cultured one exhibits a refined spiritual dimension in every action. A realization has dawned upon him that a common divine chord - the Self, the Soul, permeates throughout the universe and its beings. A poor, shabbily dressed person may be uncivilized in the eyes of the world but may not be necessarily uncultured. He may be embodiment of inner purity, love, compassion and empathy for others.
The world today is in dire need of cultural transformation that can come only through the teaching of spirituality as a science of experience like Lord Krishna taught Arjuna by bestowing upon him the eye to see His cosmic form. There are similar examples in other religions also. No worldly theory and therapy can bring about this transformation. Institutional support is needed to make the teaching of practical spirituality a mass movement.
It calls for a truly global approach. Only sages have this vision, as they have transcended the limitations of societal living. Spiritual revolution is needed today to stem the root. Cultural transformation can sprout only by reviving the rich spiritual heritage. The need is to shun the superficial dogmas and reach out to someone who teaches spirituality as a science of the inner world.
No one can live in peace if the neighbor is unhappy and distressed. A distraught and discontented neighbor is always a threat to your peace. We are no less responsible for the plight of the neighbor, be it directly, indirectly or even remotely. Nature wants us to live on the principles of "mutual dependence", a caring and sharing basis, etc. We ought to learn the basics of peaceful co-existence. Isolationist tendencies have to yield place to a mindset of 'mutual benefit'. This calls for breaking open the cocoon of this mentality and existence that we have woven for ourselves. We need to learn to move from the small 'i' to the bigger 'I', i.e., from individuality to Infinity. Once we learn it at the individual level, enlarging it at the global level will not require much effort.
Here below, we discuss as to how to break open the self-woven cocoon at the individual level.
We start with a thought-provoking story. Once a philosopher asked a cobbler - who was himself a Sufi saint - to repair his shoe. The cobbler expressed his inability to do so as he was about to close his shop for the day. If his shoe were not repaired immediately he would have only one shoe to wear, explained the philosopher to the cobbler. "Please, this is urgent", he pleaded. "You may borrow my shoe for the other foot", said the cobbler. "But I do not wear another's shoes," said the philosopher. The cobbler then asked, "If you can borrow someone's ideas, why not a shoe?"
What does this story tell us? We have become habituated to living life on borrowed ideas. This means that our inner programming lacks originality. We cannot evolve on the strength of borrowed ideas. This habit of stealing ideas is like living in a 'comfort-zone'. We may appear physically grown up but the growth of the inner core remains stagnant. Leave aside our spiritual growth; even our mental growth is only superficial as we endeavor to thrive on others' ideas.
A mindset built on someone's philosophy often binds us in myths, rituals, superstitions and orthodoxy. Today, our ideas of civilization, of superiority, of pride in our creed or nationality, and all philosophies associated with them, have enveloped us in a tough cocoon. Our notion of "who" we are is dictated by another's views. We have lost our sense of evaluation and discrimination. We, unknowingly, have a compulsive habit of borrowing ideologies, which places us in a cocoon that makes us averse to originality. Our inner engineering is severely affected and in the process, self-growth is jeopardized. We are then no better than a puppet at someone's mercy. We deprive ourselves of the greatest asset as human beings: the ability to conduct inquiry into the Self - the infinite source of energy and intelligence.
The aforesaid discussion leads us to a very vital question with respect to the mechanism of free inquiry into the Self. How should one cultivate original thinking in order to dismantle the cocoon that we live in and tread the path of self-growth so as to become human beings who are useful for themselves, for the society, for the nation and the world at large?
The mechanism is neither a man-made theory nor a therapy. It is the eternal path. It was revealed to the perfected beings of ancient times by God Himself. It is the knowledge of Self - the Ultimate insulator against onslaughts in worldly life. Regarding this, Saint Augustine had said, "It is knowledge that was not made but one that continues to be." This knowledge has been passed from master to pupil down the generations. Unlike
mundane knowledge, it is an extra-sensory perception, a trans-sensuous experience of the Self within, which is omniscient, omnipotent and all pervasive. It is the perennial source of all-existence, knowledge and bliss. Alignment with and dwelling on the Self not only transforms but also transfigures even the lowliest and the most wicked among men.
Thoughts entertained and decisions taken dwelling on the Self enter the realm of wisdom. Knowledge becomes converted into wisdom. In wisdom lie the originality, serenity and tranquility of mind. It is the eternal method of dismantling the barbed wire within which we have so far functioned on borrowed ideas. We break free from the bondage of self-imposed and borrowed vision. Regular meditation on Divine light of Self refines our vision and imparts it sublimity. It calls for attainment of practical knowledge of Self from an enlightened soul, an incarnate teacher of the time.
Armed with practical knowledge of Self, we cease being the selfish inhabitant of the cocoon and transform into a creative, beautiful and liberated butterfly. We would then feel attracted to the sacredness of existence, as we continuously perceive the All in One and One in All.
Shri Ashutosh Ji Maharaj is the spiritual head and founder of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan - [www.divyajyoti.org]. DJJS is a non-denominational spiritual organization headquartered in New Delhi, India, and is engaged in establishing a world of peace and harmony through the imparting of spirituality as a science of experience. The organization is working worldwide for realizing the goal of a global family through chaplaincy in prisons, universities, schools and professional institutions. Education on practical spirituality, meditation and holistic living through inner experience is offered at the Mission. For more information, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Discourse sessions are also held in the Brampton, Ontario area. For more information, please write to email@example.com