Association with the pious

Published - August 18, 2019 10:19 pm IST

Most people’s lives are governed by worldly parameters, that is, they are preoccupied with matters such as one’s personal and professional life, physical well being, etc, though they are aware that sastras talk of the atma. But is this something that gives contentment or peace? How long can one these sustain people? Is it possible to escape disease or old age? Can one’s possessions give happiness? The jnana that all these are temporary factors and that whatever is material and physical does not belong to us and that only the atma is enduring is what has to be aspired for. All what we think we gain in life will have to be renounced at some point of time. The only way to rethink and internalise these truths is by seeking the association with realised souls who are oriented towards the spiritual rather than the laukika way of life, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse. This is the greatest challenge for an individual and as stated in yoga sastras and in the Gita it demands patient practice and vairagya towards worldly pulls. Since the deeper transcendental awareness of the atma is present at all times in the pious, their company can influence the spiritual aspirant. Krishna calls those who always perceive the truth with perfect clarity and remain in that state as ‘Tatva darsinaha,’ the ‘seers’ of Tatva. Ramana Maharishi has inspired many towards atma tatva vichara by his very presence. His way of life reflects the truth that spiritual journey is an inward process in each being and that atma jnana is the goal. In fact, his silence itself has proved to be more eloquent and effective than rhetoric and argument to instill this enquiry. The Gita reiterates the Upanishads’ views in this regard and states that atma jnana is to be gained through modest seeking, determined effort, and through serving realised souls.

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