Duality in life
I have always been a person who enjoys worldly life to the hilt, be it travel, food, beautiful objects that please the eye, hobbies that excite or movies and plays that make me laugh, cry or think. I love life in its many splendour and at the same time acutely aware of a spiritual bent of mind that thirsts for answers about higher purpose of life. If there is one person who has confused me to the core, it is myself! How can I be a thoroughly worldly person and yet effortlessly dissolve in the inner world?! Is something wrong with me? Well, in the fourth decade of my life, my Master decided to shower grace on me by His living presence. The process of unravelling the duality in mind, layer by layer, began and continuing…
Walking on the path that Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has shown and looking up to Him with total faith has put my mind at rest to a great extent. Duality exists! Accepting and dealing with it playfully yet with profound wisdom is the art of living.
Spirituality is our nature !
Learning the true meaning of dispassion (Vairagya) relieves one of duality. People on the spiritual path are often regarded by others as some special species who shun tasty food, good life and worldly enjoyment, not knowing that spirituality is not averse to enjoying life. In fact, those who are not following any Master or a Path, are also spiritual. We are first spiritual beings and then human beings. Spirituality is our very nature. Spirituality is nothing but being natural and living all the virtues that we are endowed with by the Divine. If we see opposite of this in society or in ourselves at times, it is because of the company, environment and food habits that affect our state of mind. To combat this, we can just attend to these aspects and make our practice more regular and strong. Within a couple of days, we can surprise ourselves with the positive change!
During Navaratri satsang, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar mentioned about the effect of company. There is a lone horse called Raja. He lives in Goshala among cows. Someone brought two mares as gift to relieve the loneliness of Raja. Raja got so flustered at the sight of the mares that he began to run away from them! Raja has forgotten that he is different from cows and believes he is one among the cows. This is the effect of sangha if we lose sight of our unique identity. It is very easy to get pulled in opposite direction, specially as a beginner on the path. The whole thing becomes a snake and ladder game.
As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says so simply and beautifully, the strategy to move up as a Seeker is to set short term goals, then increase the span gradually as we get more and more strength and will power. Not to feel guilty if we slip occasionally. In fact, our resolve should become stronger each time we slip.
When we play in the world with total awareness, not losing sight of the goal of the Being even for an instant, dealing with duality becomes a cake-walk. Krishna philosophy is having one foot firmly rooted in the ground and play all the roles one is required to play as a human being. The other foot is off the ground, totally untouched by the worldly affairs. That is who we are at the core.
Balancing both worlds with equanimity, playfulness and joy will awaken the Krishna consciousness in us. Thus we make our life a celebration enjoying every aspect of life, within and without. Where is duality to deal with?
Without my Master, I would still be groping in the dark, as reading any amount of scriptures would not give me the experience that the living Master provides. A Master, as a friend and guide helps us integrate and live the knowledge of Krishna philosophy. He creates situations to help us grow and glow.