By Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai
Man wants freedom from suffering, but does not give up doership. Where there is doership, inevitably, there is pain. Stronger the doership, greater is the suffering, stress, anguish, distress, and disquiet. When you let go of doership, peace dawns; you experience happiness, purity, and stability. Practise being a witness, a mere onlooker in every event.
If you can recognise yourself as a witness, identify with it, and make the identification so deep that in every event, in each action, at all times, you are just an observer. Every situation becomes a triangle. At one corner is the body, the second corner is the mind, and the third corner is the witness. Becoming centred in this third corner, you stop being the doer.
Whether it is hunger, a thorn-prick, or headache, there is constant awareness that ‘I know there is hunger’ and not that ‘I am hungry’; ‘I know that a thorn has pierced the foot’ and not that ‘I have been pierced by the thorn!’ In this way, by practising being a witness in all activities, one becomes free of doership.
It can be said that abidance in witnessing and the state of jivanmukti — being liberated while being alive — are two names of the same state. Abiding in witnessing, the consciousness becomes free from doership.
Unaffectedness means to be choiceless. The mind is so intoxicated with the bliss of the Self that it remains choiceless with regards to the non-self. There is neither attraction nor repulsion towards any being, thing or situation.
Unaffectedness is not helplessness or inability. The Enlightened One remains unaffected in pleasure and pain. They do not become the cause of likes-dislikes for Him. The situations of joy and sorrow arise as a result of past deeds. But being identified with the Self, there remains unaffectedness and peace in both these events.
A seed when planted, sprouts, flowers and yields fruits. Once sown, it must bear fruits. However, an awakened one responds to them differently. The ignorant one thinks i have produced these fruits in my field; these fruits are mine. He brings those fruits home, enjoys them, and preserves their seeds so that he can plant them again. While the awakened one sees the yield of fruits, but he does not collect them as he is uninterested in them. Instead, he allows them to stay in the field. Eventually, the fruits drop and die, and his relationship with them comes to an end. He neither enjoys them nor preserves the seeds, for he has no desire to plant them.
Unlike the ignorant one who gets attached to the fruits, preserves the seeds and sows them, that is, harbouring the causes of bondage produces new fruits; the enlightened one stays unaffected. Due to this, his karma is annihilated, he does not enjoy the cause of bondage.
The events of joy and sorrow come to even a jivanmukta, but he knows them as the fruits of past deeds and stays unaffected. He knows but does not react at all. A seeker may attain any spiritual state; nevertheless, he is tied to his past. He passes through his destiny as a witness. He does not begin a new cycle of karma; he exhausts the old stock with equanimity.
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DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.