A Happy New year to all those who are reading this post. This is a special year as I complete a decade of a quest for inner peace. 2009 had been quite an eventful year. In my restlessness I had started blogging ‘Searching Self was born as a quest of a person at crossroads. With a brief health scare and an earnest begging for a way out, by the end of that year I was slowly edging towards my destiny.
Material comforts didn’t comfort me and yet disappointments baffled me. I knew I was in search of a higher truth but how could I unravel it? As I yearned for these truths; a sudden calmness came over me as if the truth was just around the corner. The blog helped me to put across my fears, my anxieties, my thoughts and memories out at the world and maybe made my mind a lot empty to contemplate.
Too much junk impedes the normal functioning ot the mind.
yada samharate cayam kurmo ‘nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas tasya prajna pratisthita
One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws his limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge. (Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 Text 58)
When we aim for something we have to concentrate just like a wrestler who needs a fixed amount of nutrition to maintain his weight and single minded focuses on training. A spiritual quest is similar. We need to shut out all worthless thoughts and activities and concentrate on the self. The above shloka gives the example of a tortoise. When a tortoise feels danger it withdraws within. And thats what one in the spiritual journey has to do.
onasti buddhir ayuktasya na cayuktasya bhavana
na cabhavayatah santir asantasya kutah sukham
One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?(Bhagavad Gita Chapter2 Text 66)
So once I got to a path, I began in earnest, there were classes to attend, discoveries to be made and lessons to ne applied but was it easy? There were inner turmoils and external as well. Misunderstandings in personal life, inner demons and numerous other attractions. And that meant there was no peace.
I asked a senior, why is this happening, I know this is my path but why am I in this turmoil. And he asked me, ‘have you ever churned Yoghurt?’ I said Yes. ‘When you churn the entire liquid is in turmoil, it changes its density, it changes its nature and then only you get butter’ and as a parting shot he added,’ When the milk ocean was churned, poison came first and much later nectar.’ It took me a couple of days to exactly understand the full implications but I understood this much that I was not failing, what was needed was patience.
vihaya kaman yah sarvan pumams carati nihsprhah
nirmamo nirahankarah sa santim adhigacchati
A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain real peace. ( Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2 text 71)
It is not easy to control senses especially in today’s age but then as my seniors told me the trick was not to control them but to engage them elsewhere and to be precise in higher consciousness. Read Bhagvad Gita or Bhagavatam, cook for the Lord, take his darshan etc. When the senses got a higher taste they lost their appetite for the mundane.
I am still in the process. It is not easy to throw away the garb covered from so many births but I am patient.
2018 was not a good year. Health of dear ones, relationships on which I had invested a lot of time went sour and lot many more troubles but the important part is I kept my head high and did not succumb.
And then my mother said, ‘because you were in this quest you kept us all afloat’, I felt that peace which I had been longing for long within me.
I tell you mothers can say the deepest thought in the easiest way.