Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fate is a Non-entity

This short article tries to capture the teachings of Vasişţha to Ramachandra on the nature of fate and the need for action towards Self realization in the present life. Scholars are in agreement that Vasişţhadarshanam, which expounds the philosophy of Advaita as commented by Vasişţha predates the commentaries of Gaudapada and Sankara.

The discourse can be seen as the philosophical response to the very disillusioned Rama about the futility of human life. Rama sees life as extremely short and a doll in the hands of death. The restlessness of the mind and the insatiate desire of the body which is seen by young Rama as an abode of disease and suffering.

Seeing the discontent of the young man Rama’s father brings him into the presence of Vasişţha, who explains the various aspects and necessities of our human life and its purpose.
One of the key elements which leads to a false sense of complacency is the concept of fate. This false concept is strengthened by our lack of knowledge of the true nature of the Self.

Before we acquire anything, one must be convinced of the fact that the sole determining factor in any achievement is one’s own effort. This can be easily understood if we look at the way today’s world operates. All ego driven initiatives are devoid of sincere efforts to leverage one’s own potential. Rather the ego dominated self uses and exploits the resources and potential of others to its advantage. All power brokering and wealth generation are primarily driven by exploitation of external resources, be it human or otherwise. The innate indicator of a false perception is then dulled in one’s conscience by the positioning that fate determines everything and we are just pawns in the master game of fate.

Vasişţha corrects this concept by defining the nature of destiny. Current status is the result of our karmic imprints that we carry from our previous births and by concerted action one has the capacity to set a new direction in which our spiritual progress can takes place. Fundamental to this exercise is the true knowledge of the Self. How can one try and acquire this knowledge?

Vasişţha lays out four preliminary requirements which a man desirous of knowing the Self should have in order that he may easily succeed in his efforts.

These four are namely; Contentment, Peace of mind, Association with the wise and Rational investigation. Of all these the last, Rational investigation, is the most important. All the objects of the world and all the knowledge, both true and false, are given to us to aid the mind in this process of discernment. All objects and resultant impressions are the operation of the mind in duality and understanding the all pervasive unity behind all manifestation leads to a higher realization.
The evolution of the objective world within the mind is an integral view through evolutionary consciousness and predetermined sensory imprints wherein an imagination, actuated by a desire, assumes the forms of objects of enjoyment. If we are trapped in this world it would be a futile exercise to take up a journey of involution wherein the objects of desire cease to exist.

A controlled mind which focuses on continuous discernment leads us to a total presence in the present moment with the pure intent focused on non duality and non differentiation. Hence fate or destiny becomes a non entity. This is what is called total surrender to the divine.

"According to Vedic opinion, there are two ways of passing from this world—one in light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back; but when one passes in darkness, he returns." ……….BG 8:26

The light that Bhagavad-Gita talks of is the ‘true knowledge of the Self’ and darkness is the lack of this knowledge. But the destiny of all souls is the ultimate union with the Godhead and there is no other fate.

Love to you all

No comments :

Post a Comment