Thursday, February 14, 2008

Spontaneity is the price!

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Most have probably heard of the idiom ''Ignorance is bliss'' or maybe '' Knowledge is responsibility'', etc and other things which sum up the same thought. Is there some truth in that? I often wonder, is knowledge really a tool for liberation and expansion of consciousness or is knowledge the biggest shackle and the prime culprit in keeping us in 'avidya' (ignorance)?

I am not too sure if knowledge is responsibility, but it occured to me that it is something which has a very heavy price tag! No, I dont mean the dollars charged by the gurus eager to 'lighten' the wallets of the devotees - I mean a price much heavier than money. I think that the true price one pays for knowledge (rather, the price that knowledge exacts on the 'knower') is that of SPONTANEITY. Yes, the freedom to experience life and to react to that experience without being tied to or by anything else is the price exacted on the wise. Once we head down (or up if you dont like negatives) the road of knowledge, we must act in accordance with what we 'know' - this action precedes the experience itself and is thus not at all spontaneous. The sadhaka who is an initiate and is on any particular path (upasana), can only really act in a certain fashion (this being determined by the nature of the path, the orthodoxy of the followers etc). A simple example would be that most of the upasakas day is already pre determined - like a daily organiser with no 'free' space left - right from wakeing up there are several steps (washing, nitya karmas, japa, puja, ritual acts etc) that have to be done no matter what. Done every day, each and every day. The 'knower' cannot wake up on a morning cloudy headed after a night out on town and say '' Iam groggy, so lets skip the japa business for today''. It is serious business this and not one to get on and off as it takes ones fancy. The demerits of falling of such paths are too great to be ignored and too great to be listed or mentioned here. Suffice it to say that the life of one on the path of knowledge is one of restraint - of breath, of mind, of desire, of actions, of even perceptions. Restraint, discipline and conditioning are key words here on the path. It is probably this extreme restraint and caution before acting that delivers on the promise of 'liberation' from the cycyle of birth and death. The fruits of actions done previously is the heartbeat of one's life, this decides what comes and when it comes. And the careful cultivation of set patterns throughout ones life is actually an attempt to transcend the action reaction cycyle.

It is only the result of the compassion and mercy of the supreme Goddess that an activity such as upasana or serious spiritual pursuit is not 'mandatory' for all living beings! Though most of us might have a yearning of sorts to fill the void deep down with spiritual growth, most of us are nowhere near ready to be mature enough to carefully and consciously decide to let go. Most of us are young souls and thus we hold on to life like the unripe and raw fruit clinging tight to the node on the branch. When we reach a place of inner maturity and when we can 'see' things for what they really are, we become ready to let go of this grip - much like the ripe fruit falling of its own accord from the branch. This is the main reason the big mantras, tantras and sadhana methods were kept 'hidden' and secretive. It is the compassion of the wise that they decided not to go to the nearest roof top and yell out the 'real nature' of things they have found through their upasana - that would shatter the 'illusion' for all of us! That is why it is ironic and quite sad to think that most of us are led to believe that most of this was kept secretive to enable a select few to be in 'control' of the masses. Nothing is further from the truth than that. The 'new age' belief that this is a time of information and knowledge and that all of us should reach ' super consciousness' by tapping on our thymus glands and trawling through google for mantras and tantras is confused to say the least. It is easy enough to get a few mantras or methods to practise something - but having the courage and will to put that into practise is another matter. Knowledge is for the courageous, it is for those brave ones who are ready to put everything else in the fire, for those who are ready to do as they are 'supposed to' forever, for those who have learnt the meaning of 'I' when they say it...for those who are ready to forego the control of the steering to their Lord and master!

Ah, I began talking about one thing and have come to a different point now altogether! I will finish this post now before I wander further away from the topic at hand and hopefully will be able to pick up the thread from where I left it in the next post.