Sunday, May 30, 2010

Conquering Hate

“He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'' in those who harbour such thoughts hatred is not appeased. He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'' in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred is appeased.
Hate is not overcome by hate; by Love (Metta) alone is hate appeased. This is an eternal law.
The others know not that in this quarrel we perish; those of them who realise it, have their quarrels calmed thereby.”
…………Dhammapada Ch 1 verse 3, 4

How true it is that the moment we harbour hate it is like a cancer that eats into your very being. There is a continuous preoccupation of the mind. Recently I did a ‘Note’ on my Facebook Group, the title of which was ‘Forgiveness’. There I had quoted a real life event.

In October 2006, there was a shooting in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. A neighbour in the area broke into the school holding the children hostage with a gun. He shot ten young girls, hardly more than children, where five died; then the killer committed suicide in front of the remaining children. This was a horrific event yet these gentle Amish not only went on with their lives, but immediately went to the family of the killer offering forgiveness and even attended the funeral of the man who had killed their children.

Imagine the mental state of each parent and the anguish that they must have undergone. But in spite of this state, they harboured no malice towards the family of the killer. Take the example of Pope John Paul II, after the failed attempt on his life and after he came out of the hospital, he went to jail where his would be assassin was lodged and forgave him.
All these acts of forgiveness had to have a pre-positioning of one’s mind wherein the state of hate has to be erased. This is exactly what the Gautama says.

He also says how to overcome this hatred and turn it into authentic forgiveness. This can be done by pure love. This is a state where one understands the nature of individuals. In other words you try to find reasons for the perpetrator’s act and how his mind must have worked. There is again a story that illustrates this calm realization.

There was a rishi and his disciples who went to take the ritual bath in the River. There was a madman sitting on the river bank. As the rishi came out of his bath, the madman threw some mud on him. The disciples were livid with anger but the rishi calmly went back to the river to renew his cleansing. As he came out again the madman threw some mud and the rishi went back for cleansing in the river. After few repetitions the madman got tired and went away. When the disciples asked him why he did not react and reprimand the madman, he calmly said “it is in the nature of the madman to throw mud and it is in my nature to cleanse myself, if I threw foul words at him, what is the difference between him and me?” This calm equanimity and an objective analysis help us realize the position from where the hurt comes.

Love is not an abstract emotion but it is one that is rooted in an internal experience. While it is easy to love one who reciprocates without precondition, it is a Herculean task to love someone who has a very negative disposition. This is where the mind has to be conditioned to be patient and allow space in a relationship. Life always throws a lot of hurts which is mainly due to our ego reception. It is only through going beyond the ego that we can conquer hatred.

Love to you all

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Orientation of Spiritual Practices

Yeshua said to them, “If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.
When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.
After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you.” …
……..Saying 14 Gospel of Thomas

One has to understand the times and the culture in which Yeshua speaks these words. It was a time when the law was the ruler of the spiritual domain. What Moses intended for the Israelites to be a set of code of conduct and ritual practice to unite the twelve tribes of Israel, degenerated into pure ritualistic and inflexible set of dos and don’ts. This situation had to be corrected. The words of Yeshua, seen in the context of first century Judaism, echo this message loud and clear.

Fasting, as a ritualistic cleansing, when made into a recurring and external practice without the involvement of purity of intention, does nothing more than bring affliction to the health of the body which is the temple of God. Fasting was an exhibition for the Pharisees and Sadducees due to wearing sack cloths and smearing themselves with ashes. It was an ego trip. This is why it is a sin.
The mode of temple worship was riddled with overtones of political agenda and division of the devotees. Hebrew Bible attributes this agenda and establishment of division to King Jeroboam I, who led the northern secession from Judah around 930 BCE to establish the independent kingdom of Israel. To prevent northerners from making pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem, we read in 2 Kings 12, Jeroboam built new temples at Bethel (on Israel’s southern border) and at Dan (on the northern border). At each of these shrines, he set up a golden bull calf, calling them Elohim, the gods who brought the Israelites out of Egypt. The biblical text frequently refers to this reinterpretation of the Exodus story the “sin of Jeroboam”.
There was no spiritual element in the act of worship it was downgraded to pure ritualistic act during the time of Yeshua. The Golden calf was replaced with the Ark but every other aspect of worship remained the same. This was no different from the act of Jeroboam and hence is to be condemned. Authentic prayer must be egoless and should be reflected in our daily lives.
The act of charity was also purely seen as a perfunctory exercise in Judaic spirituality. A giving of a portion of ones wages to the temple and there ended charity. Though increasing emphasis came during the period of Rabbi Hillel the Elder towards a ‘love of man’, it was still an idea which fell outside the realms of spirituality.

Yeshua was great admirer of Hillel the Elder and the first part of this saying in the Gospel of Thomas reflects the philosophy of Hillel.

The next part of the saying ratifies the importance that must be given the inner spirit rather than the outer practices. Kosher food and other ritualistic practices when taking food were installed at a totally different socio-cultural context when the Israelites were in the desert for forty years or they were subject to occupation. The polluting element of food was more to do with the physical body rather than the nourishment of the spirit. Conforming to the saying “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, Yeshua admonishes his disciples to partake of whatever that is offered when they are in any region or countryside. The final admonition stamps His authority on the essence of spirituality. What really defiles a man is what comes out of the mouth of man, the words that reflect his inner state of being. Here we see the reflection of the principles of the application of the ‘Three Golden Gates’ rule.

Do we not see what Yeshua saw two thousand years ago as what is happening today? Spiritual exercises are reduced to mandatory exercises. Life and spiritual practices are two separate dimensions of human life. It is time that we heed to the words of Yeshua and aspire to integrate spiritual practices into a life empowering tool. The most important aspect of this adaptation is that the spiritual practices have to be individually tailored. The role of a Guru or Spiritual guide is very similar to the tailor who stiches your garment that suits you perfectly.

Love to you all

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Symbolism of the Rosicrucian Cross

The centre of the cross is the rose, which is the archetypal equivalent of the lotus. Lotus is the symbol of the divine energy centres in the human in Vedic philosophy.
Carl Jung identified the Lotus as a fundamental archetypal symbol equating it with the womb and the nurturing feminine. Such symbols usually resonate with us on a near-instinctual level, often penetrating beyond mere cognitive thought into the minds deeper realms. This is the reason that Devi Sarawathi, goddess of wisdom, is seen seated on the lotus flower.
One thing that is agreed upon by scholars of religious iconography is that the Lotus and the Rose carry the same symbolic meaning. The 22 Hebrew alphabets from which creation came into being as per Lurianic Kabbalah are the petals from which a singularity emerges. The centre of the cross is the singularity from which all dimensions are manifest.
The symbols at the extremities of the cross are in pole opposition and symbolize annihilation of all manifestation which happens in perfect symmetry. Particles and matter are result of symmetry breaking in standard model Physics.

Around the pentagrams, which are placed one upon each elemental coloured arm, are drawn the symbols of the spirit and the four elements. Upon each of the floriated (the arms) of the cross are arranged the three alchemical principles of sulphur, salt, and mercury. The white rays issuing from behind the rose at the inner angles between the arms of the cross are the rays of the divine light issuing and coruscating from the reflected light of Kether in its centre; and the letters and symbols on them refer to the analysis of the Key Word - I.N.R.I,(Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum) which means 'Jesus the Nazarene King of the Jews' though instructed by Pontius Pilate to be written, carries a deeper meaning of the Essene nature of Christ and he being given the position of Rex of Divine wisdom.

All manifestation exists by virtue of a process ... a continuity of eternal existence that knows neither beginning nor end. This process must be one of transcendence and transformation that never permits gross stagnation or decay. It must ever be refining and improving upon itself and periodically shedding its outer skin of appearance and the density of its material expression. Hence to elevate our consciousness there is a necessity of a catalyst to induce necessary change and transformation. The Rosicrucian cross is an iconic catalyst in this process of transcendence.

Esoteric Christianity found expression through deeply meaningful writings. Edited in 1619 and written by
Johann Valentin Andreae, a Rosicrucian document “Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz” elaborates the four paths that could be used for attaining spiritual transcendence.
The author writes “By us the Bridegroom offers you a choice between four ways, all of which, if you do not sink down in the way, can bring you to his royal court. The first is short but dangerous, and one which will lead you into rocky places, through which it will scarcely be possible to pass. The second is longer, and takes you circuitously; it is plain and easy, if by the help of the Magnet you turn neither to left nor right. The third is that truly royal way which through various pleasures and pageants of our King affords you a joyful journey; but this so far has scarcely been allotted to one in a thousand. By the fourth no man shall reach the place, because it is a consuming way, practicable only for incorruptible bodies. Choose now which one you will of the three, and persevere constantly therein, for know whichever you will enter, that is the one destined for you by immutable Fate, nor can you go back in it save at great peril to life.”.

Though these four paths were meant as to how the Bible wisdom was meant to be approached, it maps with uncanny accuracy to the Vedantic four paths or Margas.
The first which alludes to the ‘rocky places’ is the karma marga were one’s life is of constant toil.
The second path is ‘longer, and takes you circuitously’ is the Bakhti marga were one attains transcendence through worship and devotion. Third path is allotted to very few and that is the Jñana marga or the path of wisdom in which one attains the higher realms of consciousness through deep mystical insight. Finally the fourth which ‘no man shall reach’ is the Raja marga and is purely meant for those divinely incarnated incorruptible souls. This is the path of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and the Prophet.

The four arms of the Rosicrucian cross represent the four ways. What a powerful symbolism!

Love to you all

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nature of the Mental Process

“In humans, every phenomenon arises from a field of energies: every thought, every feeling, every movement of the body is the manifestation of a specific energy., and in the lopsided human being one energy, is constantly swelling up to swamp the other. This endless pitching and tossing between mind, feeling, and body produces a fluctuating series of impulses, each of which deceptively asserts itself as "me": as one desire replaces another, there can be no continuity of intention, no true wish, only the chaotic pattern of contradiction in which we all live, in which the ego has the illusion of will power and independence. Gurdjieff calls this "the terror of the situation.”…………. Gurdjieff: Essays and Reflections on the Man and His Teaching, edited by Jacob Needleman and George Baker (New York: Continuum. 1996).

If you have stood at the sea shore and carefully observed the pattern of waves, you will realize that only one out of four or five waves is really significant and if you are standing in the water, it can exert a pull on your leg. But out in the deeper ocean all the waves are equally benign and evenly orchestrated except during a storm. The four or five waves that are mere large ripples are due to the fact that they get swamped by the retreating big wave. Why this example is pertinent to what we are discussing, is because our nature of thought exactly follows this pattern. The mind is the primary agent in all our response to life situations. Thoughts, feelings and actions are the results of the mind in operation. As George Gurdjieff, the great Russian mystic and teacher, points out this constant swell and swamping of the mental processes result in a loss of true identity.
Again let us for a moment go back to the ocean. It is only in the shallow waters, near the coast, we have this phenomenon of turbulence. There is not enough water to sustain the force of the large wave and hence it must reverse and feed off the emerging wave behind it. This is the same reason that when a Tsunami strikes the height of the wave in the deeper ocean is not too devastating but as the wave approaches the shallow waters it must pull all the waters ahead to sustain its energy. This is why we see the sea receding before the big wave strikes.
Just as the limit of the shore is its final destination, mental processes find their culmination in illusionary artefacts such as ‘will power’ and ‘independence’. The intimate interconnectedness is lost to our perception when we operate in this mode of mind oriented actions.

As
W. Q. Judge writes in “The Synthesis of Occult Science”
“The Manasic, or mind principle, is cosmic and universal. It is the creator of all forms, and the basis of all law in nature. Not so with consciousness. Consciousness is a condition of the monad (see my article “Units of Consciousness”) as the result of embodiment in matter and the dwelling in a physical form. Self-consciousness, which from the animal plane looking upward is the beginning of perfection, from the divine plane looking downward is the perfection of selfishness and the curse of separateness. It is the "world of illusion" that man has created for himself. "Maya is the perceptive faculty of every Ego which considers itself a Unit, separate from and independent of the One Infinite and Eternal Sat or 'be-ness." The "eternal pilgrim" must therefore mount higher, and flee from the plane of self-consciousness it has struggled so hard to reach.”

Nature can teach us a lot. Only by being people with deep sustaining level of consciousness can we tackle the onslaught of the mind. Spiritual practices must be oriented towards stilling the mind but in today’s world most religious rituals and prayers add to the cacophony already generated by the mind.

Love to you all

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Seeing in the Light of Tao

When we wear out our minds, stubbornly clinging to one partial view of things, refusing to see the deeper agreement between this and its complementary opposite, we have what is called ‘three in the morning.’ What is this ‘three in the morning?’
A monkey trainer went to his monkeys and told them: ‘As regards your chestnuts: you are going to have three measures in the morning and four in the afternoon.’ At this they all became excited and angry. So he said: ‘All right, in that case I will give you four in the morning and three in the afternoon.’ This time they were satisfied.
The two arrangements were the same in that the number of chestnuts did not change. But in one case the animals were displeased, and in the other they were satisfied.
“The keeper had been willing to change his personal arrangement in order to meet objective conditions. He lost nothing by it. The truly wise, considering both sides of the question without partiality, see them both in the light of Tao [Dao]. This is called following two courses at once.”……………
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

This story illustrates the strong imprints that we create in our minds regarding how our choices are made in our life. These choices have their root in our perceptions which are at the sensory, temporal and accumulated knowledge levels. The holistic and realistic value of what we choose is relinquished to the minimal or non existent level and our preferences are dominated by almost purely to levels that have been derived from socio-cultural-religious conditioning of the individual mind.
The ways we pray or perform spiritual practice are always subject to a predetermined, non-rational and dogmatic path. The intrinsic value of any sadhana (spiritual practice) is always relegated to an abstract domain wherein a judgmental divine authority is the decision maker.

Rabindranath Tagore, whose 150th birth anniversary we celebrate this year, has beautifully captured what is the difference between the mindset of Greek philosophers and those of the Vedic Rishis in his opening chapter of the book “Sadhana”. He writes:
“The civilisation of ancient Greece was nurtured within city walls. In fact, all the modern civilisations have their cradles of brick and mortar. These walls leave their mark deep in the minds of men. They set up a principle of "divide and rule" in our mental outlook, which begets in us a habit of securing all our conquests by fortifying them and separating them from one another. We divide nation and nation, knowledge and knowledge, man and nature. It breeds in us a strong suspicion of whatever is beyond the barriers we have built, and everything has to fight hard for its entrance into our recognition.”

Immediate gain is the goal of our lives, just as demonstrated in the story. I had in an earlier post analysed the etymology of the word ‘Faith’. The Latin word ‘fides’ means ‘trust’. Had the monkeys trusted their trainer, they would have accepted his first proposal based on the fact that he would have the best of intentions for their nourishment. But through self belief, which most times lead to self doubt as we are limited in our capacity of holistic comprehension, the trust is lost.
Surrender to ‘Divine will’ means exactly this that we trust rather than believe in knowledge that has originated at a human level which is always subject to corruption through the action of the mind and ego.

Now let us analyse the trust building action of the trainer. He changed his position to accommodate the wish of the monkeys without compromising his own position. This is exactly the way of the Tao (Divine). The Tao operates at the level of uncompromising singularity yet for the manifest level there is duality due to the operation of the mind. To elevate our own perception to this higher level we need to comprehend the interconnectedness of all creations through elevation of our consciousness. As Tagore says: “Thus to attain our world-consciousness, we have to unite our feeling with this all-pervasive infinite feeling. In fact, the only true human progress is coincident with this widening of the range of feeling. All our poetry, philosophy, science, art and religion are serving to extend the scope of our consciousness towards higher and larger spheres. Man does not acquire rights through occupation of larger space, nor through external conduct, but his rights extend only so far as he is real, and his reality is measured by the scope of his consciousness.”

Love to you all

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Malady of the Mind

“It was not the object of the Prophets and our Sages in these utterances to close the gate of investigation entirely, and to prevent the mind from comprehending what is within its reach, as is imagined by simple and idle people, whom it suits better to put forth their ignorance and incapacity as wisdom and perfection, and to regard the distinction and wisdom of others as irreligion and imperfection, thus taking darkness for light and light for darkness. The whole object of the Prophets and the Sages was to declare that a limit is set to human reason where it must halt” (‘Guide of the Perplexed’ 1:32).

Moses Maimonides, 12th century pre-eminent medieval Jewish philosopher, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the Middle Ages wrote the “Guide to the Perplexed”
Why I chose this passage from the book is the rampant recourse to reason and logic of the modern generation of youth and the self propagating mind set of religious scholars. Eckhart Tolle in his dialogue with Duncan Campbell says that there are three levels of materialism that is rampant in the world today. First is the 'material materialism' through which a self authentication of superiority sets in through possessing more gadgets and things. The second is the 'psychological materialism' through which the self or the ego feels secure through knowledge acquisition and intellectual pursuit and finally there is 'spiritual materialism', in this existence all modes of spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga and other sadhanas (practices) are used as tools to advance at the mind and ego level to a position of superiority. The very acts of material and intellectual acquisitions and spiritual practices are not to be condemned but the intent with which the ego positions itself is to be carefully watched.

Maimonides was a leading figure in the promotion of ‘Sephardic Religious Humanism’ which promoted openness, adaptation and tolerance and took root in Arab-Islamic regions. This is a clear model for the current world situation where ethnicity is slowly dissolving in communities and a pluralistic culture is becoming the order of the day.

Another important thing to realize today is 99% of the world consciousness is still locked very much in the 'magical', 'mystical' and 'mental' category (Gebser model) and it is only a miniscule percentage of the population which has a holistic and integral view of our existence. Religious teachers are invariably caught in the lower form of consciousness from which level only a mental exercise can be done and a deep felt experience or intuitive realization is missing.

The branding of alternate paths to spirituality as irrelevant or irreligious comes from a mind that thinks it has an unlimited capacity to discern and sets its limit as the limit beyond which none else can go. Investigation is a logical and sequential process and sacred scriptures were not given for this purpose. Scriptures were meant to evoke a deeper emotion wherein the process, though it might originate in the mind, has to culminate in the heart. The mythic symbolisms and iconic imagery were employed by the prophets and spiritual masters to pry out an understanding that is not possible by the rational mind. The reason for degradation of Vedic teachings is due to the strongly rooted hegemony in ritualistic rigidity and cast iron interpretation of the smritis (puranas, ithihas and other law books). Similarly, alienation within Christianity is its dogma dominated liturgy, a salvation positioning of exclusivity and non inclusive approach to early Christian wisdom. Islam, at a spiritual level, has completely lost its way due to its socio-cultural insensitive interpretation of Koran through the shariat and downright rejection of the Sufi mystical path. The Koran is divinely inspired in the very depth of the heart of the prophet but it has been reduced to a set of laws operating with in the domain of rigid minds. Though scholarly discussions and edicts are put on the linkages between Shariat and Tariqat (spiritual observance), the legal interpretations have predominated people’s lives.

All religious leaders must listen to the words of Maimonides “The whole object of the Prophets and the Sages was to declare that a limit is set to human reason where it must halt”. Listen to the heart, keep your mind open but know its limit and always undertake an inward journey then salvation will be yours.

Love to you all

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Transcendental Nature of the Divine

“Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way. I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down.”
……. Bhagavad-Gita 9: 23-24


Today when monotheistic religions and fundamentalist argue and espouse the concept of salvation or liberation through only the God of their religion and all others are cast aside as damned, the statement in chapter 9 verses 23 and 24 seem to confirm this concept but with a slight modification. Worship or devotion to any God ultimately terminates in the supreme Godhead of Lord Krishna. This approach is not direct but indirect, a tortuous route and there is a pre-condition that if one does not realize that ultimately all sacrifices and offering reach the supreme transcendental Godhead, all his devotions are in vain.

This is where one has to look deeply within the scripture to see what the intension of this writing was. These verses do not define a dogmatic approach to worship of a particular God, namely Lord Krishna. What these verses define is the nature of God that is true and to whom our devotion and sacrifice must be directed. Most religions have struggled with the rational approach to defining God and have stopped short of qualifying God through an anthropomorphic approach. This is the malady of all religions. It is this reason that Buddha, Jesus, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva etc., are turned into God and the irreconcilable position of whose God is the true God becomes established among the followers. When we read the verse 23, the nature of all gods as defined for human understanding, which is defined as Suguna Brahma in Vedic theology, is only a path to the ultimate reality. If we are stuck at the level of the icons or imagery then we fall woefully short of our destination in our devotion. The only true worship of the divine can happen when the nature of the Godhead is fully appreciated and realized.

For us humans, it is impossible to comprehend the true nature of the Divine through the mind and hence signs are given pointing to the way or direction. As Bruce Lee tells a student in the film ‘Enter the Dragon’: “Don't think. FEEL. It's like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!”
The signs and symbols and indicators we use to direct us to wisdom should not be confused with the wisdom itself. This is powerful, and it has layer upon layer of meaning to it. The words we read and the speakers we listen to can only point us in the right direction. They are not the truths in themselves.

Worship and devotion must be centred on the understanding of the nature of God. What is this nature? It is the nature of an all pervading energy, energy not to be confused with what we experience through our physicality and the senses, but a sustaining, trans-dimensional and cosmic web of being. It is the very fabric of all that is manifest and unmanifest. This is often referred to us the Self in Vedic philosophy.

“The Self is one. Unmoving, it moves swifter than thought. The senses do not overtake it, for always it goes before. Remaining still, it outstrips all that run. Without the Self, there is no life. To the ignorant the Self appears to move–yet it moves not. From the ignorant it is far distant–yet it is near. It is within all, and it is without all.”
………… (Isha Upanishad 4,5)

This is the transcendental nature of the ultimate reality which with our human limitation we call GOD.

Love to you all

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Root of Pain and Joy

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him”
……………Dhammapada Ch 1 verse 1,2

Periodically I will be doing a commentary on the Dhammapada which captures the essence of Buddhist teachings.
The above verses position the basic ethics of living a human life. The predominance of mind over matter is now increasingly realized in understanding human conditions such as physical and mental illness. This is the reason that right mind set is addressed in the very first chapter of The Dhammapada.
While right view refers to the cognitive aspect of wisdom, right intention refers to the volitional aspect, i.e. the kind of mental energy that controls our actions. Right intention can be described best as commitment to ethical and mental self-improvement. Buddha distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1. the intention of renunciation, which means resistance to the pull of desire, 2. the intention of good will, meaning resistance to feelings of anger and aversion, and 3. the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop compassion. All these three aspects of right intentions are addressed in the first chapter of The Dhammapada.

The great truth is that our mental state is responsible for our emotional response. The emotional response is the main trigger for our glandular activity. For example when our mind senses fear, we are afraid and this state of fright readies our physical system to fight or flee. To go into this mode, our muscles must be activated for increased response and require higher blood flow. The heart must pump more blood through the veins. To increase the heart rate the adrenal glands must release higher levels of adrenaline.
All our sensory inputs are modulated through our mind and thoughts to evoke a response in our endocrine glands. This results in various actions in our own physical system and the feedback to our mind completes and readies our mind to perceive a state of mind. This is vicious circle which can lead to a permanent state of being. A person who lives constantly in a state of hate, exploitation and manipulation of his fellow beings, experiences a reflexive state of the pain inflicted due to his own constant anxiety and perceived threat as to when he may be subjected to the same conditions. He gets trapped in the ambience he has created. This is the reason the wisdom of the Dhammapada says “pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage”. The state of existence has now gone beyond his control. The main manifestation of this state is energy blocks within the body leading to physical ailments. This is the reason that heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer are the major killers today.

If on the other hand, we follow the path of dharma and act and think with pure intension, a state of universal well being pervades our system. Beautifully this state is compared to the shadow that never leaves a person. A shadow will never a person and will always remain with him only when he carries the light that casts the shadow. When the inner light of realization that all creations are from the same source, is present in us, the shadow cast of the egoless self will always accompany the self in an unaltered state of purity.

Two basic facts emerge from the reflection on these verses. Pain and despondency, driven by our state of a mind immersed in evil, has an external source beyond our control but happiness derived from our state of universal love through right action and thought is derived from a source within.

Love to you all