Saturday, November 29, 2008

Union through Detachment

The soul that is attached to anything,
However much good there may be in it, will
Not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For
Whether it be strong wire rope or a slender
And delicate thread that holds the bird,
it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for, until
the cord is broken, the bird cannot fly.

……. St. John of the Cross

When the heart grieves over what it has lost,
The spirit rejoices over what it has found

………… Sufi Epigram

Look at the picture of the Goldfish; there seems to be something unusual about it. We see Goldfishes in aquariums and in decorative ponds but we seem to have difficulty ever imagining the Goldfish isolated from its entire environment. The first element we look for is water as this is the very essence of the Goldfish’s existence just as we associate human soul to human body for its existence.
We add value to any object mostly by association. Even when we refer to a well known personality, like as Sir.C.V. Raman, it is natural for us to qualify him as a Nobel laureate or the ‘man who discovered the Raman Effect’. This habit of ours leads to look at all objects in our sensory field through qualification. It then leads to the value being attached to the peripheral qualities rather than the intrinsic object of our relationship.
We do not leave out even God from this attachment. This is the reason we call ‘God the Father’ or Brahma, the creator and knowing this fallacy of the human mind Vedic seers knew that we have difficulty in comprehending the absolute and hence created the Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes).
As John of the Cross, who was great Christian mystic, says as long as we are attached to any surface qualities or qualifying attributes, we are not able to reach out and attain divine union. Meister Eckhart, another great German medieval Christian mystic, also points out this fact that the human soul has layers upon layers of covering acquired through our attachments to worldly and material objects and it is a Herculean task to remove these sheaths and attain union with the divine.
This is where a centring prayer and inner awakening process plays an important role. First we prepare the ground of action for the divine will to act through heart centring contemplation and then through inner awakening we open the soul’s portal for divine wisdom to take residence . It is only when the divine grace is operational that the layers of falsehood shrouding the soul can be destroyed.
The consciousness resident in your self is the same as the one that is limitless and infinite which we call God or Divine. We limit the individual consciousness through our own conditioning by acquiring desensitizing layers through our evolutionary nature and through our own nurturing from the time we come into this world.
This unification of limited consciousness and the limitless Divine consciousness is a two way process of you seeking the divine and the divine seeking you.

This can be summarized in the beautiful words of Ramana Maharishi:

“If you go on working with the light available, you will meet your Master, as he himself will be seeking you.”

Love to you all


  1. All our slokas and songs vie with one another to praise Gods with their various attributes and it is impossible to think of a God stripped away from these adjectives!

  2. Very true! the seeker through Jnana must however aim at removing the attributes and look for the inner kernnel. To the beloved disciple then there is revelation of true nature of Pramatma. This is the cosmic manifestation of Krishna in Bhagavad Gita and the transfiguration of Jesus at mount Tabor.

  3. A similar thought depicted in a Malayalam poem.
    The theme is ‘Kasturi mirg (Musk deer)’ searching for ‘kasturi’ – vary valuable and much sought item, elsewhere without realizing that it is with in.